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Old 07-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Camby to the Clippers

The Denver Nuggets, desperate to gain salary cap and luxury tax relief, executed what amounts to a salary dump by agreeing to send Marcus Camby to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the opportunity to swap 2nd round picks in 2010. From a financial standpoint the move makes a lot of sense for the Nuggets.

By shedding Camby's contract which had two years remaining on it they will now potentially be a good $15 million or so under the cap once Allen Iverson's contract expires at the end of next season. They will have the flexibility to be able to part ways with Iverson if they choose to do so and go after an impact player on the free agent market. Obviously the Nuggets would have preferred to unload Kenyon Martin or Nene but it appears as though they cannot give them away at this stage.

Martin's career peaked during the '03-'04 season, he has had microfracture surgery on both knees, and he is still owed over $46 million over the next three years. Nobody wants to take the gamble on him staying healthy enough to be a $15 million a year caliber player. Nene is a tantallizing talent but he too still has a rather hefty contract and has only managed to stay healthy enough to appear in 81 games over the past 3 seasons.

Ultimately Camby was the safest gamble for the Clippers as he only has two years remaining on his deal and is still an elite rebounder and shot blocker who can give someone 34 minutes a game. He has also remained relatively healthy the past two seasons playing in 70+ games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career.

However, the move is a bit of a curious one for the Clippers as they could have made a play for one of the remaining restricted free agents prior to making this move. After Elton Brand jumped ship it was widely rumored that the Clippers were going to, at the very least, talk to Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor, Andre Iguodala, or Luol Deng in an effort to land a younger big name talent to help fill some of the void left by Brand. This move also makes it more and more likely that those four players stay put as the Clippers were one of the few teams remaining with the capital to make a serious run at any of those players. It surely means the Clippers are not long in the mix for their services.

It appears as though the Clippers were scared off by management for those teams saying they would match any offer made towards those players. Although pursuing Deng and Iguodala does not make a lot of sense for the Clippers given they just drafted Eric Gordon to be the 2-guard of the future and small forward Al Thornton really flourished at the tail end of the year putting up 16 points per game after the All Star Break.

Don't get me wrong picking up Camby for literally nothing is not the worst move they could have made It just seems like making this move for Camby is settling on Plan B without ever attempting to move forward with Plan A. When a team is in the position the Clippers are in why not go for broke and try and go after a younger more impactful player than Camby. Why not go after a younger player to add to the core of young talent they have picked up over the past couple of years in Thornton and Gordon? It just feels like another example of the Clippers failing to roll the dice here and going for broke after they got burnt by Brand, like they are resigned to the notion of being a mediocre franchise for all of eternity.
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