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Clippers Acquire Marcus Camby

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From ESPN: The Clippers on Tuesday acquired Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby as their replacement for Elton Brand.

The Clippers will only have to surrender a future second-round pick to acquire Camby, who is being jettisoned into the Clippers' salary-cap space vacated by Brand to generate payroll relief for the Nuggets.

Camby, 34, is coming off a productive season in which he averaged 9.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.61 blocks for the Nuggets, who won 50 games to claim the final playoff spot in what is regarded as the most competitive conference race in league history.

From The LA Times: "This is the perfect fit for our team,' said Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy of the 34-year Camby, a 12-year veteran and the league's defensive player of the year in 2006-07.

Clippers.com:  "I love this acquisition for the current make up of our team," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We are getting a consummate pro who is maybe the best team defender in the league and who has 60 playoff games under his belt."

Elgin Baylor said. “Marcus can play multiple positions and is one of the better rebounders and shot-blockers in the league. With him playing alongside [Chris] Kaman I think we will have a pair of excellent interior defenders, and that will make us a formidable team.”

Well...this is a bit of a surprise.  Not what I was expecting to read when I woke from my evening nap. 

Good jobs by Lawler'sLaw and bballanalyst for getting this story out to the peeps. 

I really like this deal, for the most part.  Sure beats the Zach Randolph trade.  Marcus Camby is a serious defensive presence.  The Clippers now have two of the top three rebounder's and shot blockers in the NBA from last season.  The front line will be quite formidable.  The Clippers obviously chose to go the defensive route to replace Elton Brand, eschewing the potential scoring punch that a player like Randolph could provide. 

It is great from a salary cap standpoint.  The Clippers are still under the cap, and can still add a player before all is said and done.  Camby also becomes a trade piece next season, along with Tim Thomas and Cat Mobley.  All three expire prior to the 2010 free agent bonanza, when players like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh will all be available.  The Clippers will now be players in that lottery, or use the three in a trade.  It gives the team lots of leverage.

Camby is 34.  He is much older than Josh Smith and Emeka Okafor, yet does what both were expected to be able to provide defensively, at a much lower cost.  It seems that the Clippers were just not comfortable tying up five years worth of big money to a young, unproven player.  They instead opt to acquire an established interior player who can match up with the bigs in the west.  He is certainly a downgrade from Elton Brand, most notably on offense, but a great pickup nonetheless. 

It basically works out as a trade of Brand and Maggette for Baron Davis and Marcus Camby.  Not terrible.  

As our esteemed Citizen Zhiv has been suggesting, this may be the beginning of Kaman's slide over to power forward.  I believe he has the skills.  I also think that Camby can be a great role model for DeAndre Jordan.

I imagine that this move has upset the plans of a lot of the restricted free agents.  Smith, Okafor and Andre Iguodala were all hoping for some fat offers by the Clippers.  That is not going to happen now.  It remains to be seen whether or not the Clips are done with this free agent season, or will stay busy in an effort to bolster roster more.

So, let's have a look now, shall we:

PG  Baron Davis

SG  Eric Gordon

SF  Al Thornton

PF  Chris Kaman (good call, Zhiv)

C  Marcus Camby

Bench:  Cuttino Mobley, Tim Thomas, Brevin Knight, DeAndre Jordan (he can learn a lot from Camby), Nick Fazekas, Shaun Livingston (?), and whoever else. 

I have certainly seen worse lineups in my day.  I think this could be fun.