I just haven't been posting here at Clips Nation.
Seriously, I know that I've not been my usual loquacious and garrulous self. There are myriad reasons for this. For one, it is simply a fallow time for Clipper news. So although I may be accused of disingenuousness or even dissembling, I would nonetheless attribute the recent dearth of activity not to my own torpidity, but to the quiescent interval. Happily though we are on the cusp of a much more fecund epoch, as the Clippers will now precipitate draft workouts, while the draft itself looms as a forthcoming eventuality, with free agency and summer league supervening thereafter.
Oh, and also I took the GRE on Monday. So that took some time. You know? Totally.
But like a jilted lover, you'll be mortified to know that ClipperSteve's words are featured extensively today At the Hive, discussing one Corey Maggette, who for some reason is a topic of conversation despite the absence of real news.
By the way, At the Hive is the latest SBNation basketball blog and covers the New Orleans Hornets - you should check it out if you haven't already. You should also take the time to visit these other newly minted SBNation baske-blogs -
You'll definitely want to read the interview At the Hive. At the risk of stealing their thunder, when they proposed Mike James, Rasual Butler, the 27th pick this season and a lottery protected future pick for Maggette, my immediate reaction was to scoff. But as I thought about it, I became intrigued. Keep an open mind, go read about it over there, and then let me know what you think. I'll also update the Maggette for... post to include this proposal.
What's becoming more and more interesting is how many teams (or at least their fans and beat writers) appear to be looking at Corey as a shooting guard. I think we've come pretty close to a consensus around here that Corey is really a three, and not a two. And although you can certainly take exception with the decision, MDsr certainly thinks that way. In fact, despite the Clippers' desperate need for backcourt production and the fact that he is at least ostensibly a swing man, Corey played only 5% of the team's available minutes at the two last season, according to 82 game. By way of comparison consider that he actually played 3% of the power forward minutes, and that Guillermo Diaz, Richie Frahm, Sam Cassell, Dan Dickau, Ruben Patterson, Al Thornton, Marcus Williams and Smush Parker all played at least some shooting guard for the Clippers last season. If Corey is in fact capable of playing shooting guard full time, MDsr certainly is not aware of it.
The interest in Maggette the two is no doubt driven by a combination of ignorance and simple demand. The Clippers being the Clippers, most people just don't have much of a clue about what's happening at Staples Center when Jack isn't courtside. You look at his stats, you look at his height, your fantasy league lets you play him at shooting guard - voila, he's a shooting guard. And if you're a shooting guard away from being pretty good (like say, New Orleans or Orlando), you look at this free agent market and you zero in on Maggette. And for whatever reason, the Clippers are not the only team struggling to find help in the backcourt. Most teams aren't quite so desperate at BOTH guard spots, but plenty of teams have a glaring weakness at either the point or at the shooting guard.
It's nothing but good news for Maggette and the Clippers if teams think he can fill a hole at the two. It presents significantly more potential trading partners. Toronto, Milwaukee, maybe San Antonio - those teams could all use a new starting small forward. But I'd argue that there are many more teams who are actively seeking a major upgrade at shooting guard. Even a potential Maggette for Hinrich trade depends on the Bulls viewing Maggette as capable of playing the two. Deng and Gordon are both restricted free agents, but Deng is the more likely to be re-signed, and will always get the lion's share of small forward minutes. And if Deng and Gordon both re-up, Maggette only makes sense in Chicago if he's viewed as the antidote for Gordon's diminutive size.
While we're on the subject, the Toronto papers are all re-emphasizing the point that Bryan Colangelo intends to keep Jose Calderon, and saying that 'five or six' teams have expressed interest in acquiring T.J. Ford. Rest assured that one of those teams is the Clippers. As we've said all along, Calderon is a much better fit for LA, so the fact that Colangelo seems to think he can move Ford is bad news. If indeed the Raptors can get an offer they like for Ford, Calderon is off the market, if indeed he was ever on it at all.