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Karl's Co-Coach Cassell - Kooky!

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Thanks to Citizens ClipperJoe and cabezadeknuckle for finding this item in today's Rocky Mountain News.  

Clippers guard Sam Cassell wants to be paired again with Karl.

Cassell, in the final year of his contract, said he wants to sign with the Nuggets in the offseason as a free agent and play one more season. He wants to learn the coaching ropes from Karl, his former coach in Milwaukee.

"We always talk about that," Cassell said. "(Karl) knows I'm serious about wanting to coach.'

Karl, who courted Cassell in 2006 before he re-signed with the Clippers, is open to Cassell, 37, playing a final season in Denver while preparing to coach.

"Sam's what we've always talked about, so I think it is a possibility," Karl said. "Sam, I think, will make a good coach, but there will have to be a transition period."

I'm not going to read too much into this.  It's no secret that Cassell enjoyed playing for George Karl when they were in Milwaukee together.  And, from the outside, it certainly seems like it would be more fun mentoring under Karl than under MDsr.  Besides, let's face it... this is what Sam does - he talks.  There was talk of him signing with the Nuggets when he was a free agent last summer, which was never a realistic possibility, and if I recall correctly that talk actually started while the Clippers and Nuggets were playing each other in the playoffs.  Sam's never quiet, and certainly not with free agency looming.

There's little chance that the Clippers will make a push to keep him after this season at any rate.  If Livingston is able to come back, then Cassell is no longer the starter.  If Livingston is NOT able to come back, then it's start over time at the point, and Sam arguably has even less value to the team.  They'd love to keep him for the veteran's minimum or something similar, but they're not going to pay $6M for him.  

The real question is whether Cassell even finishes this season with the Clippers.  With supposed contenders from Cleveland to Boston to, yes, Denver, beginning the season with dubious prospects at point guard, Cassell's veteran leadership and expiring contract will be VERY attractive to any team hoping to make a deep playoff run this season.  The Celtics seem like a great fit for Cassell - don't forget that BOTH Ray Allen (with the Bucks) and Kevin Garnett (with the Wolves) enjoyed their greatest team successes with Sam-I-am at the point.  The only problem is that Boston has very little left in the way of trade assets after acquiring Allen and Garnett.  

Like so many things, Cassell's fate probably rests on the performance of the team.  If they remain in playoff contention, he'll have value to the Clippers.  If (when?) they drop out of the race, he'll have much more value to other teams, and the Clippers would be wise to get anything they can in the form of picks or prospects.