Here we go people. 4 hours to midnight!
I don't know if it was the "I-VER-SON" chant, the booing, Adande's column, or the considerable influence of ClipsNation.com, but reigning GM of the Year Elgin Baylor is motivated, and he's about to pull off another masterpiece. It ain't over til it's over, and some other team may come up with a better offer before midnight, but here's what I'm told is going to happen:
The Clippers will send Maggette, Mobley, Cassell, and Minnesota's first round pick to Philly for Allen Iverson and Kyle Korver.
Somebody effing pinch me!
In addition to everything else that we've already discussed, the Sixers get a Philly guy, Mobley, whose still playing solid basketball, and the Clippers get a true deep threat in Korver, which is something they desperately need, especially now with Iverson penetrating.
Why has the deal changed? Well, bear in mind, we don't know for sure that the other deal was ever offered. I first suggested it over a week ago, before Iverson ever demanded a trade, and then a Philly paper reported that it was on the table on Tuesday.
I'm guessing it's changed because of the Clippers' salary cap concerns. This deal is better for the Clippers from that standpoint. Mobley was due to make $9.1M in 08-09, while Korver will be making $4.8 million. So that's another $4.3M towards avoiding the luxury tax when it comes time to pay Livingston and Ross. Will they actually be able to avoid paying the luxury tax in 2009? Who cares?! But, in all seriousness, they'll be close. It will probably depend on how much the threshold changes between now and then, and no one knows that since it is based on league revenues. But they'll be close.
After 2009, all bets are off. Iverson will be a free agent, and 34 years old. Basically, it's impossible to plan that far ahead in the NBA anyway. But let's face facts - this trade is designed to yield dividends - the kind paid out in jewelry - before 2009.
One final note: The first round pick that is integral in this deal came to the Clippers in the Marko Jaric trade. Going back to last off-season when Elgin signed Mobley, he has parlayed Corey Maggette and Marko Jaric into Allen Iverson and Kyle Korver. Sounds like Elgin's going back-to-back on awards.
Let the Iverson era begin!