This time, it is Chad Ford. In his article titled Winners and losers of the NBA's offseason (so far), Ford describes the Clippers as offseason losers:
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers once held the coveted title of most dysfunctional franchise in the league and they made a lot of strides toward reclaiming it this summer.
Everything started off so well. They shocked many by quickly coming to terms with Warriors free agent Baron Davis -- filling a big need at the point. Pairing Davis with Elton Brand was supposed to put the Clippers on a course back to the playoffs in the West. Unfortunately, the team then inexplicably lost Brand to the Sixers a week later. Brand's people say the Clippers mishandled the negotiations. The Clippers point the finger at Brand's agent, David Falk.
Suddenly, the Clippers' dream team was a nightmare. At this point in his career, Davis making $65 million stretches credulity, even if he's motivated. An unmotivated Davis playing on a cellar dweller? Ugh.
I find nothing wrong with his stating that the Clippers are probably not a playoff team. I have my own doubts. But to bash the team, and, oddly, bash Baron Davis exactly one paragraph after praising him, is flawed analysis, and a bit absurd.
Is Ford saying that the value of the Davis signing was contingent on whether Brand remained a Clipper? If looked at in terms of a trade, I can't imagine too many people would regard the Brand for Davis "swap" as being a bad deal for the Clippers.
Would the Clippers have made his latest column's winner's column had they simply held on to Brand and Maggette, sans Davis, fielding the essentially the same team of the past three seasons, minus Sam Cassell, Shaun Livingston or anything else resembling a PG? That is doubtful.
Here is what Ford wrote about the team atop his Winners column:
The Sixers landed the biggest free-agent coup of the summer when they stole Elton Brand from the Clippers. Brand fills the biggest need of a team that played solid basketball in the second half of last season.
Now the team has two veterans at key positions -- Brand anchoring the paint and Andre Miller running the point -- and a slew of talented young studs like Thaddeus Young, Louis Williams, Samuel Dalembert and first-round pick Marreese Speights.
If the Sixers get Andre Iguodala locked up in the next few weeks, they should be one of the top three of four teams in the East.
So there you have it. The team that loses Brand is the loser, while the team that signs him is the big winner. High praise for a player who has been to the playoffs exactly one time in his 9 year career.
Signing Brand was obviously a great move for the Sixers. But was it any better than the Clippers signing Davis? According to Chad Ford, it was much better.
By the way, Ford contradicts himself once more when he calls the Warriors losers for signing Maggette:
After trying and failing to lure Elton Brand and Gilbert Arenas to Golden State, the Warriors spent way too much on Corey Maggette, a guy who duplicates many of their strengths and addresses none of their weaknesses.
I think I'm starting to catch on. You are a loser if you sign Maggette, as did the Warriors, and a loser if you don't sign him, as the Clippers did not. Got it. No matter though. The Warriors were doomed to be offseason losers in Ford's eyes from the start, for they, too, like the Clippers, failed to sign Elton Brand, the true measure of a winning offseason.
Overall, this was a poor piece of work by Chad Ford, and I regret that I spent any time trying to navigate thru all of the drivel. Can't wait until Hollinger's pre-season report. Should be Clipper-bashing at it's finest.
UPDATE: Here is what ClipShow said perfectly in the comments section below.
I love how Ford calls Thad Young, Lou Williams and Sam D “talented young studs”...but when it comes to the Clips, apparently Al Thorton (better than either Thad or Lou) and Chris Kaman (>>> Sam D.) are chopped liver. No mention that the last time FElton played with AMiller, they failed miserably. No mention that FElton is coming back from a major injury. No mention that the Sixers has a LOSING record last year. And no mention that FElton has been in the playoffs a grand total of ONCE in his career.