Of course it was a good idea to match! Had the Clippers not matched the offer, all the “cheap” stereotypes would have rained on the Front Office. Also, Blake Griffin would have lost his best friend on the team. In fact, I bet there is no way we get Chris Paul without matching the offer.
First off, I totally understand that in this league Centers tend to be overpaid. Today, the NBA has turned into such a guard driven league that teams simply need Centers to be the defensive anchor, that last hope before all goes wrong.
Tyson Chandler is the easiest example. Although an offensively challenged Center, he was an important cog in the Mavericks championship team. He is now attempting to do the same in a defensively challenged Knicks team. We all want DJ to turn into our very own Tyson Chandler. Now, even I do.
Last year, a heavy debate dominated this blog. It was Team Kaman vs. Team Jordan. I have to admit that I was a part of Team Kaman. I tend to value an “old school” Center more than a Center with “potential.” The only flaw in my argument was that Kaman was injury prone, while DJ wasn’t at all. Also, Kaman would be looking for a big payout during the 2012 off-season. But, would his price have been higher than DJ’s?
I totally understand that DJ is full of potential. My greatest hope is that he develops a Dwight Howard type hook shot or becomes our version of Tyson Chandler. My greatest fear is he becomes on overpaid Center such as Darko Milicic or Andris Beidrins.
Was his potential sufficient to justify an overpayment? This is still a question. All I can say is that DJ has been rebounding pretty well as of late. But, he still tends to make mental mistakes during defense. I love how he has stopped attempting the flashy blocks. DJ’s numbers are also likely to drop due to the emergence (both offensively and defensively) of Kenyon Martin, which is not DJ’s fault.
So, how can DJ fulfill his potential? Easy, better coaching.
Now that we are “stuck” with DJ for the next four years, we need to attain a coach that is able to tap into his full potential. We need a defensive minded coach. DJ will turn into a great defender, but only if his full potential is exploited. If not, the Clippers made a grave mistake my tying up 10 million dollars in the Center position.