FanPost

Homegrown

The best free agents will NEVER sign with the Clippers.

Perhaps FElton was the last best player to voluntarily sign with the team.  (BD doesn't count with all his primadonna-ness/moodiness).  As much as we dislike what he did, at least we could never accuse FElton of just going through the motions--he played the game how it should be played by a professional.  After he left town in the rush that he did, I think that just about kills any future shot we may have had with talent of his caliber.

There was a strange draft a long time ago when Clipper draftees were actually HAPPY to have been drafted by the Clippers.  DMiles and QRich were GENUINELY all smiles on the podium hearing their names called.  And what they did that season was unexpected--winning far more games that this group of superstars did.  And I remember they had fun out there...  Maybe the Clips could consider revisiting that and just start over with their young guys.  They'll lose a lot...that's for sure.  Would they lose more than they did this year?  I doubt it.  And any losses will at least be on their terms--that they PLAYED HARD AND CAME UP SHORT & not because some future hall of famer or some overweight superstar is just going through the motions.  EJ is "The Franchise", not "The Hobbit".  Give him the ball and throw him out there with Mike Taylor, Al Thornton, Steve Novak (until the 2009 draft pick shows up who is hopefully a power forward like Griffin or Monroe) and DeAndre Jordan and let them take their lumps and be embarrased for several weeks in a row to the point where they'll get on each other to get better by spending more time in the weight room, more film study, more skills drills, and more 5 on 5 in the gym.   Mike and EJ have the speed & skill to put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense.  Al will have his nights where he is on center stage but on other nights will be that 2nd or 3rd scoring option.  DJ will develop improve at getting rebounds and blocking shots.  Their PF (hopefully Monroe) will showcase his own ball handling, passing, and scoring skills along with his length and athleticism in blocking his share of shots and rebounding.  Mike and EJ will master the feed to DJ or Monroe for the alley oop dunk.   Mike and EJ will learn to drive and dish out to any of their other teammates for the easier two pointer or to Novak in the corner...

One of the top 3 or 4 PF in the nation will be available in the draft by the time the Clippers make their selection.  They could draft a potential superstar PF and go to the youth movement I had mentioned above OR continue with their current experiment and try to win now with their collection of near allstars.  Unfortunately, they risk teaching the younger guys all the wrong things about being a PROFESSIONAL basketball player.  And by the time these near superstars' brilliance have faded, these (formerly) young guys' optimism and promise may have faded along with.  I hope the future GM will have the vision to figure out which direction to go...

CORRECTION:  Elton was traded to the Clippers by the Bulls for Brian Skinner & draft rights to Tyson Chandler.  So I guess the my first sentence is correct: The best free agents will NEVER sign with the Clippers.

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