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Quick Thoughts as I Scramble to Catch Up

ClipperZoe had a doctor's appointment this morning, which took some time.  I've rad the comments here at ClipsNation, but I haven't read any other reports yet today - this SF Chronicle one sounds really interesting.

Here are some bullet thoughts in the mean time:

  • It's likely that Baron's decision caught everyone by surprise, and certainly pundits in the media did not see it coming.  That would explain why MDsr was talking to Udrih at 1 minute after midnight.  But the priorities necessarily switch now. 
  • Although it was probably not his primary goal, Baron's decision makes me look like an idiot.  I spent several hours on a point guard post yesterday, concluded that he was an unrealistic target, set a list of priorities - and today it's all wrong.  Thanks for that, Boom-Dizzle.
  • It's worth noting something here: before each opted out, EB and BD stood to earn a combined $34M+ next season.  Now, the media is ablaze with speculation that they'll split somewhere in the neighborhood of $25M to $27M to play together for the LAC.  No wonder I said it was unrealistic yesterday.  It's the kind of thing that happens to the Spurs and the Lakers and the Celtics.  It does not happen to the Clippers.
  • The 2008-2009 salary cap figure has not been set yet.  That happens in about a week.  For that reason, we don't know exactly how much the Clippers can offer these guys.  Basketball Related Income (BRI) just became really, really important to all of you.  If it went up a lot this year (maybe it did, with the Lakers and Celtics thing), then the cap goes up.  The more the cap goes up, the more realistic it is to sign both these guys.
  • Baron Davis went to Crossroads High in Santa Monica, and the Clippers franchise is at a crossroads with this situation.  We're literally in a situation where the team could have two all stars in the starting lineup - or it could be building around Chris Kaman.  The nature of this type of home run swing is that you can strike out.  Udrih (not that he's a savior, but still) will likely be gone by the time the Davis situation is resolved.  If you don't get Davis, maybe you can salvage Brand and Maggette.  But it's also possible that the 'I'll take more money to play on a winner' moment passes, and Brand gets disillusioned.
  • It's hard to figure how much Brand saw this coming.  He was quoted talking about Udrih yesterday.  Does he say that if he had Baron Davis in mind?  And as others have pointed out, the Brand-Davis play closes the door on Brand's buddy and long time teammate Maggette.  At any rate, this seems to literally be a chance for Brand to put his money where his mouth is.  How much money is he willing to give up for the Clippers to sign an all star point guard?
  • He hasn't been asked to play in a low post system in a long time, but in many ways Baron Davis is the ideal addition to the Clippers.  The one thing the team has needed for eternity is a go to scorer, particularly one on the perimeter.  He's all that.  He's got Sam Cassell swagger, with a half the miles and double the talent.  He could certainly clash with MDsr - but Brand and Davis get massive team leader cred if they take pay cuts, and as we saw in Boston this year, that sort of thing has a way of getting the entire team and the coach focused on one thing.
  • As John R correctly pointed out, the Clippers have to renounce all of their exceptions to cobble together the money for these offers.  That means Maggette is gone.  It is less clear what it means for Livingston.  I wonder if a multi year deal at the minimum salary, where all of the subsequent years are player options, would be acceptable to Shaun.  Someone else will probably offer him more, but maybe not a lot more.  If he gets a multi-year deal, he has some security in case he can't play.  But the player options allow him to demand more money if he comes back strong.  It's not a bad compromise, and allows Livingston to stand by the franchise that stood by him.  I also feel that Shuan could play a crucial role in a very bright Clippers future.  He could be the jack-of-all-trades backup to Davis at the 1, Gordon at the 2 and Thornton at the 3.