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Keystone Clippers

Maybe we'll know more at some point, but as of right now there's no logical explanation for the Clippers actions today.

At 1:02 PM, the Clippers Communications department sent out a release saying that the team had acquired Hassan Adams from the Raptors in a trade.

At 3:06 PM, they sent one out saying that Adams had been waived.

What the deuce?

One possibility is that this was strictly a money making deal.  We went through the Nuggets math on Monday, showing how much they stood to save by getting rid of Cheikh Samb, especially if it got them under the luxury tax threshold.  Now, Toronto appears to be further away from the magic number, but assuming this deal is part of getting them there, then Adams $700K salary could be worth over $6M to them.  Given that, it's easy to imagine a deal conceived from the outset that would pay the Clippers more in 'cash considerations' than they would owe to Adams, he would be immediately waived, and everyone would walk away happy - with the possible exception of Adams, who would be out of the league again.

But if this was a strictly financial transaction from the outset, why put out two separate press releases?  After all, the goal of the communications department is to, well, commnicate.  And a press release about a trade is commmunicating, however implausibly, "Hey, we got a new player today, and we're hoping that he can be a big help to our wildly shorthanded team."  Releasing said player two hours later is a big Rosanne Rosannadanna "Never mind."  Either the basketball people failed to explain to the communications people what was really going on (not good), or the communications people weren't clever enough to realize that they really should do one release on this deal (also not good).  But the net effect is that the Clippers announced a trade for a guy who was released 2 hours later without so much as working out for the team - which looks dysfunctional on a lot of different levels.

It's also possible that the Clippers signed on for a risk-free trial of Adams just like they did with Samb - and then something changed in the afternoon, and they exercised their risk-free option of waiving the guy.  Maybe they have their eye on someone else (in which case we should expect another announcement soon).  Maybe they found out something else about Adams, and just cut him loose since it isn't costing them anything.  I mentioned in my first post that they wouldn't hesitate to cut the guy - but I thought they'd hesitate more than this.

Ramona Shelburne posted about the trade - with a time stamp of 5:50 PM, 16 minutes before the press release announcing the waiver - and said that it was basically the same terms as the Samb trade.  The conditions of the future pick are such that it is unlikely to ever happen, and the cash is enough to cover his remaining salary obligation.  No fuss, no muss.  But if that's the case - if there's no additional profit for the Clippers in the deal - then why release him immediately?  The net effect is that the Clippers are doing a favor for the Raptors, giving themselves some extra paper work to do, and jerking around a home town kid, all for no benefit to the team.  That's not a good policy.  It makes me think that they have already agreed to terms with someone else for that roster spot and that an announcement is forthcoming.

If we don't hear something soon, then put it alongside the Vinny Del Negro trade as another example of the Clippers being the smallest, most petty organization in the entire NBA.  But at least they waited a day to release Vinny.

UPDATE:  Both Ramona Shelburne and Lisa Dillman have some clarifications on the daily roster churn.  The short story is that they were ready to give Adams a free look and intended to have him in uniform against the Spurs tomorrow, and then they found out that Fred Jones' foot injury was less serious than originally thought, and that he would be available to play.  Since backcourt relief was the immediate concern, it was important that whoever they signed would be available ASAP - they liked Jones all along, liked what he was bringing when he was with the team, and when they found out he was good to go, they waived Adams to make room.  Unfortunately, they found out just after the Adams trade was being finalized.  Bottom line - Fred will be back in uniform tomorrow in the Alamo city.

So it's not a case of front office incompetence nor even miscommunication.  Just bad timing.