The talks on a potential Clippers-Sixers trade are at a stalemate. The Sixers want Livingston; the Clippers aren't going to trade him. Until one of the teams moves on their supposed pre-requisite, nothing is going to happen there.
David Aldridge provides a summary of the current situation in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. With Pat Riley and the Heat officially announcing they are out (did anyone ever really believe they were in?), Aldridge says there are still 3 teams actively searching for the Answer: the Nuggets, Wolves and Clippers. But there are impasses in each proposed deal:
Minnesota is going to have to give up guard Randy Foye.
The Clippers are going to have to part with guard Shaun Livingston.
Or the 76ers are going to have to take Andre Miller from Denver.
The Livingston thing we knew about. The Andre Miller thing makes sense. (Why would Philly want Andre Miller, whose contract runs as long as Iverson's? Sure, he makes less money, but when you're starting over, you don't trade a 31-year-old all pro making $20M in 2009, for a 30-year-old not-all-pro making $11M in 2009.)
The Randy Foye thing just seems wrong. I mean, if Minnesota isn't offering Foye, then exactly what ARE they offering? They have no picks. They have no other decent prospects. Even with Foye in the deal, the Wolves can't put together a trade that Philly would take, since they don't have the expiring contracts the Sixers really want. And besides - Randy Foye was the 7th pick in a really weak draft. I find it hard to believe that he alone would swing the deal for Allen Iverson.
Aldridge also states the Sixers goal more clearly than I've seen it before. The Sixers want "players with contracts expiring either this season or after next season." This has been my assumption all along, as the Chris Webber contract runs until next season, and they have no hope of being under the cap before then.
Given that goal, the Clippers would still seem to be in an advantageous position, even without Livingston. Corey's contract is the key here - he has a player option for 08-09. My assumption is that, given minutes in Philly, he'll believe his value is increased, and will opt out of his deal in hopes of signing a bigger one. On the other hand, if he is sitting in Philly, he'll opt out in hopes of going to a better situation. Either way, it seems highly unlikely that Corey would choose to be a Sixer in 08-09, but of course it's his call, and so that represents a risk to Billy King in his strategy. Given the Sixers other desire to suck a lot this year, they might even be able to work something out with Corey where they waive him to allow him to play elsewhere, in exchange for him opting out of the final year. I'm not sure if this would be allowed under the CBA, but I'd certainly check into it if I were Billy King. But assuming Corey opts out, Rebraca plus Sam plus Corey equal AI's contract, and all three salaries would be gone by summer 2008. It seems at least possible that King is being petulant about the inclusion of Livingston, when the Clippers have everything to offer that he can reasonably expect, when you include 1 or 2 first round picks and/or MBFGC.
Later in the article, Aldridge dropped this bizarre bombshell:
First of all, let's just point out that the statement makes no logical sense. How does an Iverson trade clear cap room? It doesn't. And if MDSr was so hot to acquire MDJr, he could have traded Corey Maggette to the Warriors at any time. We all know that Nelson would take that trade in a heartbeat. Obviously we've heard the MDJr thing for months now, but I refuse to believe it is more than talk. I'm not basing this on any inside scoop - just common sense.
(a) As I said, if the Clippers actually wanted him, he'd be here already. The salaries match up, and the Warriors would do the Maggette-for-Jr. deal. What exactly is the hold up?
(b) MDSr is not stupid. Why would he want to coach his son - his son who is perceived to be wildly overpaid and untalented?
MDSr's got some serious headaches to deal with right now. He's not dumb enough to add this one.