Brian Scalabrine escribió:Pues supongo que lo de Deng viene en torno a que se a tocado a las superestrellas y ya si LeBron es difícil, supongo que JJ tampoco le atraería la opción Clippers, por lo que supongo que hemos buscado atar a alguien para no encontrarnos conque después no ficha ningún FA importante-cosa factible- y nos encontramos sin un buen jugador que faltaba para el quinteto.
Y personalmente, por sus lesiones, contrato largo y estar sobrepagado, Deng no me gusta nada, pero en nivel deportivo después de Bron, JJ y Gay quizás fuese el siguiente. No hay ningún FA exterior más mejor que Deng, así que bueno, algo es algo, y como bien ha dicho Mr.Cátering, con el 17 se iría a por Babbitt o Hayward, jugadores que pueden pasar hasta estos picks y que en el 8 también eran opciones nuestras(y a mí más que Aminu me gustan).
Es una buena base. Un quinteto con 5 buenos jugadores "a lo Memphis el año pasado" pero para mí con algo más de nivel, y que si le añadimos buenos reservas como Blake, Outlaw, Hayward, Smith...no estaría mal.
Pero está claro que esto siempre viendo que la opción JJ no es viable(entre Gay sobrepagadísimo y Deng me quedo con el 2º) ni lo de Pierce realidad.
D Jiménez escribió:Si los Clippers aceptan ese trade volverían a hacer honor a su mentalidad perdedora. Espero que no lo acepten. A no ser que haya otro trade preparado por detrás, no se, pero así no se puede aceptar.
Además de cargar con el contratazo de Deng dan la ronda? pfffffffffffffffffffffffff
From a personnel standpoint, the Clippers had a solid draft on Thursday. Al-Farouq Aminu can’t shoot from the perimeter, nor can he put the ball on the deck, but he addresses a number of needs on the wing — specifically rebounding and defense. He’s also a mere 19 years old and inordinately coachable. Eric Bledsoe, also 19, fits the mold of the modern-day combo guard. Although he measures only 6-foot-1, Bledsoe is a strong, lanky athlete with the ability to knife through traffic, shoot proficiently from distance and torment opposing ballhandlers. He’s the kind of talent quality NBA teams are bringing off the bench to give their backcourts a jolt of energy. The Clippers will also get a free look at the prodigal Sooner, Willie Warren. As a second round pick, Warren doesn’t count against the Clippers’ salary cap number until he’s sign.
That leaves the Clippers with just enough cap room for one max contract. Here’s a compact version of the current spreadsheet (in millions) based on a salary cap number of $56,100,000:
The Returning 5 $ 33.53
5 Salary Cap Holds $ 2.37
Al-Farouq Aminu $ 2.14
Eric Bledsoe $ 1.24
12 COMMITMENTS $ 39.27
WHAT’S LEFT $ 16.83
As a frame of reference, LeBron James’ max figure is approximately $16.57 million. If you want to take a longer view and throw the cap holds in with the available max money, the Clippers have about $19.20 million for five roster spots (based on a 12-man roster). We can dissect the comparative strengths and shortcomings of Aminu and Bledsoe over the next several weeks, but the Clippers earned high marks on Thursday night for cap management. They added two interesting young assets while still preserving room for a max contract.
The small forward position in the NBA is where the holes get patched.
The player at the three usually is the most versatile player on the court -- he can guard multiple positions and seamlessly shift from the wing to the post -- while providing the necessary balance a five-man unit needs to function cohesively.
For years and years, the Los Angeles Clippers have employed no one capable of providing the balance that the small forward position typically provides. One of the most tenured Clippers of all time, Corey Maggette, was an efficient scorer but a defensive liability and a black hole offensively. Quinton Ross, the starting small forward during the Clippers' playoff season in 2005-06, was the yin to Maggette's yang: great defensively, but a disaster with the ball in his hands. For a while, the Clippers thought they may have had their long-term answer with Al Thornton, but he devolved from an athletic supporting scorer to a guy who played with blinders on both ends of the floor. Rasual Butler performed admirably last season for the Clippers as a stopgap solution, but even he was streaky and far too reliant on the temperature of his jump-shot.
Instead of the small forward patching holes for the other starters, the Clippers have perpetually compensated for whomever they plugged in at the three.
Enter the 6-foot-9 Al-Farouq Aminu from Wake Forest, the Clippers' selection at No. 8 overall in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
Can Aminu be different than the players who came before him? General manager Neil Olshey seems to think so.
"We've kind of disguised a lot of twos as threes over the last few years," Olshey said in the team's press conference. "Now we have a prototypical, 6-foot-9, long-armed, explosive athlete, rebounding machine who is going to add length to our frontline.
While that all sounds good, there's still no denying that Aminu is incredibly raw offensively. Will Aminu pick up the slack for the Clippers or just create more of it?
It's important to maintain some perspective here. Like a kid who makes his first Christmas wish list in March, the Clippers' desired needs for their small forward of the future grew as time carried on. What they required, simply, was a small forward who could stretch the floor with his perimeter jumper, distribute, make plays off the dribble, defend bigger threes and the best twos, rebound well, draw offensive fouls and do it all with a great big smile on his face.
The problem? That player doesn't actually exist. Aminu isn't perfect, and he's got a lot of growing to do, but he fills needs.
After trading Marcus Camby last year, the Clippers posted the worst defensive efficiency number of any team in the league while winning just eight games in 30 tries. When the Clippers were flirting with a .500 record and playing their best basketball, it was because their defense was hovering right around the 12th- or 13th-best in terms of efficiency. When the defense tailed off, the season took a nosedive right along with it.
Defensive rotations are a tricky thing to master in the NBA, but Aminu is the most gifted defensive prospect the Clippers have drafted in years. With an outrageous 7-foot-3 wingspan, good foot speed and a penchant for hounding ballhandlers, Aminu projects to be a good stopper who can realistically cover four positions. In addition, Aminu will allow the Clippers to go small if they choose to with Blake Griffin at center. It may take a while for Aminu to fully grasp the concept of help defense, but all signs point to him having the raw talent and instincts to do so.
While the Clippers should improve defensively with their dynamic new forward tandem, it's on the glass where Aminu's presence will be felt right away. The Clippers' starting wings for most of last year, Eric Gordon and Rasual Butler, were the 48th- and 52nd-worst rebounders out of the 53 wing players who played over 30 minutes a game last season.
"We've been one of the poorer rebounding teams in the league at the small forward position," Olshey said. "We just added the leading rebounder in the ACC at the small forward position. I think we've all learned that rebounding translates."
The Clippers have long needed to pair the vertically challenged Eric Gordon with a bigger wing capable of drawing the more physical assignments defensively while also clearing the glass. Aminu, despite some deficiencies, more than fits those requirements.
After years of failing to adhere to one ideology on the court, the Clippers are forging an identity as a basketball team. Were there more skilled offensive players available at pick eight? Certainly, but part of the reason the Clippers chose Aminu was for his dedication to the unglamorous parts of the game. For a franchise notoriously plagued with players who took a "me-first" approach, Aminu represents a fresh alternative.
The process of rebuilding and rebranding a franchise is often a slow and painful one, but by selecting Aminu the Clippers are showing that their priorities, at long last, are in the right place.
The Los Angeles Clippers have narrowed their coaching search to two candidates -- current Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey and former Chicago head coach Vinny Del Negro, sources close to the situation said on Friday.
The most recent list circulating in the media included ESPN analyst Mark Jackson, former Minnesota coach and executive Kevin McHale, Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin and former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson. The Clippers also had conversations with Houston assistant Elston Turner two weeks ago.
By zeroing in on Casey and Del Negro, the Clippers have resurrected a rematch between the two finalists for the Bulls' coaching vacancy during the spring of 2008. Del Negro ultimately landed the job in Chicago, where he strung together consecutive 41-41 seasons along with two first-round playoff appearances.
Casey compiled a record of 53-69 during his season-and-a-half tenure in Minnesota. He was fired midway through the 2006-07 season after the team split its first 40 games. After Casey's dismissal, the Timberwolves finished 12-30 -- never winning consecutive games under replacement Randy Wittman.
The Clippers fired interim head coach Kim Hughes the morning after finishing the season 8-25 under his direction. The organization's traditional modus operandi with both free agents and available coaches is to monitor the market. True to form, the Clippers have been moving the process with deliberation -- maintaining contact with their favored candidates while allowing other teams with vacancies to act first.
Interviews with Casey and Del Negro are being set up for early next week.
This is looking like a busy week or so for the Clippers.
Andy Roeser and Neil Olshey worked overtime during the draft yesterday, getting NBA approval of the trade for Eric Bledsoe around 9 PM, about five hours after the draft started. And then they immediately turned their attention to two other pressing matters - the hiring of a coach, and the wooing of a free agent.
Kevin Arnovitz has the story on coaches today, reporting that the Clippers are looking at two finalists for their job: Duane Casey, a Dallas assistant and former Minnesota head coach, and Vinny Del Negro, the recently fired head coach of the Bulls. The plan is to have each of them in for face to face discussions early next week, and they'll need to make a decision right away if they're to stick to the timeline they laid out at the draft Thursday night, which was to have a coach in place by the start of free agency next Thursday. Presumably, they'll want to have their new guy along for the ride when they head off to Akron to grovel before the king meet with LeBron James.
Because, in case you hadn't heard, there is no longer going to be a LeBron world tour. They canceled that. And for the noblest of reasons.
It's believed that James -- who is the face of this historic free-agent class -- wants to keep the focus on basketball and believes hosting teams in Ohio can prevent the recruitment process from turning into a spectacle.
By all means. FSM forbid that this process turn into a spectacle. It's all about focusing on the basketball of course. Nothing to do with exercising power over these guys by making them come to him, by playing the game on his home court as it were.
Of course, the Knicks had to cancel the big party they had planned for LeBron. And that guy they hired two years ago, the one whose job it is to make an impression on LeBron when he comes to town, I guess they kind of wasted that money.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that there will be six teams invited to pitch his royal free agentness: the incumbent Cavaliers plus Chicago, Miami, New York, New Jersey and the Clippers. The Clippers are widely considered to be the longest of long shots in this process, to the point that ESPN effectively ignores their existence. But as it stands today, they've got a seat at the table, so someone considers them still in the game.
Six weeks ago I went through the argument based on the primary factors that I assume LeBron and his people will be considering: team caliber and market size. Of the six teams on the list, you can certainly make a very solid case for the Clippers. They all have the money. LA is the second biggest market, but arguably the best from a media exposure standpoint. And only the Bulls can even begin to compete in terms of existing roster.
The other teams have countered by simply clearing more and more space. Knicks GM Donnie Walsh performed a minor basketball miracle in getting rid of Jared Jeffries' contract last February, to free up the space for two full maximum contracts in New York. At the time, it seemed like an act of desperation. Now it's just par for the course. The Heat, Bulls and Nets have all made deals in the last week to free up more space as well.
The Heat are trying for THREE big names. The Bulls and Nets would like to lure two like the Knicks. Can they do it?
First of all, let's be as clear as possible about the math.
The Knicks do in fact have enough room for two full max players, so if LeBron and Bosh want to play together in New York, it is possible. The Knicks could conceivably then turn Eddy Curry's expiring contract into a third decent player, and New York would at that point have.... three decent players. OK, maybe that's a little harsh, but they're certainly not building around Danilo Gallinari and Andy Rautins.
Chicago does NOT have room for two full maximum contracts as of this point. It's pretty close, but it doesn't quite work. By my math, given their current roster, if the Bulls were to sign LeBron for a full maximum deal of $16.83M, they'd have a little over $14M left for Bosh (or whomever). That's still a lot of money, but would Bosh take that when another team would be willing to pay him almost $3M more per year (which would add up to over $15M over the course of his contract with raises)? If the Buls could indeed lure two marquee names, they could have an impressive team to say the least. Start with Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, add LeBron James, and then add Chris Bosh (or Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer) and that's the best starting five in the NBA.
New Jersey comes even closer than Chicago to being able to offer two full max deals, but also comes up a little short. My math shows Mr. Second Fiddle, whomever he may be, earning $15.16M, assuiming LeBron is not offering to take a paycut. The Nets also have some nice pieces at point guard and center in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, but even with James and Bosh at the forward spots, the lineup would have a pretty glaring weakness with Courney Lee at shooting guard.
As for Miami, we know that they have room for two max players - can they fit three? In a word, no, not three full max guys. One issue with Miami is that I know that James Jones' deal is only partially guaranteed and that they will waive him to free up space - but I don't know the amount that is guaranteed. The Heat would also like to get rid of the second pick in the 2008 draft, Michael Beasley, but aren't finding any takers. My best guess, with Beasley still around and a fudge factor in for Jones, is that the Heat would have around $45M and could pay two maximum contracts and make a third offer starting around $10M per. Not bad. If they are actually able to find a team willing to take Beasley, this could be the greatest experiment in the history of the NBA - the Heat would be trying to build a team that was made up of three maximum salary superstars, and ten NBA minimum guys, with literally nothing in between. It could work - but it could also go horribly wrong, and they could end up with a complete mess in South Beach. The biggest question for Miami is, which three pieces would you want to put together there? There's an elemental problem with their plan, which is that the marquee names more or less play one of two positions - wing or power forward - so signing three of them has a basic problem. Sure, LeBron's a small forward and Wade's a shooting guard. But at the end of the day, they're both wings, and wings that dominate the ball at that. I've never for a moment believed that LeBron and Wade would end up on the same team. These are two of the three most visible superstars in the NBA, and I don't care how much they like winning gold medals together every other summer, they're not sharing the spot light for 82 games. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but I doubt it.
Which begs the question, what's the best case scenario for the Heat that doesn't include LeBron? Obviously anything in Miami starts with Wade. The logical second guy is Bosh. Whose the third guy? Stoudemire and Boozer play the same postion as Bosh. Joe Johnson plays the same position as Wade. David Lee as your center? Rudy Gay as the small forward (might as well stick with Beasley)? So it's great for them that they have room for three players, but who are they actually going to spend the money on? Frankly, the Heat would be better off starting with Wade and Bosh (or Stoudemire or Boozer) and then using the rest of the money to sign a few solid players rather than blowing it all on a third guy.
Cleveland of course is looking like the sad, boring choice. Same old teammates. Same old city. Sure, there's family and loyalty there, and maybe that means more to LeBron than most people suspect. But compared to all the shiny new toys other teams are offering, returning to the Cavs might seem a little like getting new underwear for Christmas; or maybe even getting old underwear for Christmas.
Likewise, compared with some of the other teams who are offering LeBron the chance to recruit his wingman, the Clippers may be looking a little outdated at this point. One max salary slot? That's so February. Of course, the Clippers also offer established, legitimate NBA starters at the other four positions, and a clear hierarchy for James. He's he only guy coming in, there's no question whose team it is. The ace in the hole for the Clippers may be Blake Griffin. As a fellow first overall draft pick and athletic freak, Griffin may be the best complement to James among his suitors. He's inside to LBJ's outside. He's willing to play off the ball. He's willing to do all the grunt work, grab the rebounds, dive over the scorer's table. And he's willing to give James the spotlight.
In the end, if the Clippers have any chance at all in this beauty contest, it will first come down to the discussions between the free agents themselves. Because the simple fact is that if LeBron wants to take a date to the dance, then the Clippers aren't an option. But if he's going to go stag, then the Clippers are probably his best option. The Clippers were stung two years ago when a free agent romance between Baron Davis and Elton Brand suddenly went south. It's entirely possible that LeBron won't find a dance partner to his liking. Bosh certainly seems like the best fit. If LeBron wants to play with Bosh next season, then the Clippers are out. But if he's going to strike out on his own, then LA may be the place.
For now, the Clippers have a seat at the table and a chance to make their pitch, and that's all you can ask for at this point.
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