I was too pissed after the game last night, and Saturday mornings are family time.... I'll have more to say later today.
The LA Times today confirms the trade offer that I got from my source on Thursday afternoon.
The Clippers don't want to trade Cassell or Mobley, but Iverson's hefty contract -- he has a salary of $17.1 million this season and is owed almost $40 million combined in 2007-08 and 2008-09 -- would put them into luxury-tax territory unless they moved some of their big contracts.
Of course, I was wrong, wrong, wrong... at least in gauging the actual interest level of the Sixers, and the immediacy of the deal. I was told it was going to happen, and maybe the Sixers even implied as much - but they could have had motiviation to mislead the Clippers. I will try to be more circumspect in the future. Of course, AI is still a Sixer, so this is not over yet.
As for the team, there are two discouraging things that may explain their performance:
(a) The Clippers were not as good last year as we thought.
(b) A lot of teams in the West got better - Phoenix, Houston, Utah, New Orleans, Portland, the Lakers. The Clippers didn't. Added together, we are where we are.
As citizen MP pointed out in a comment yesterday,
Then they backed into a first round series against a Denver team who they just own.
Then they played their hearts out against a Phoenix team that wasn't great last year. Should have won that series.
If you look at the Clippers, there are a lot of things missing that a lot of other teams have. There is really no perimeter threat on this team right now. Thomas and Mobley should be, but the offense is not geared towards that.
Plus, most good teams have some kind of high-flying, take it to the hoop kind of guy. Our closest thing is Maggette, who has bad hands, and Singleton, who is not ready for prime time.
When is the last time the Clippers threw an alley-oop?
Plus, Elton is not last years Elton, which hurts, and the team defense is not what it was.
All things considered, the Clippers as presently constituted are a .500 team. We overrated them based on some good breaks last year.