Posted by Erik on July 10, 2008
Corey Maggette signs with GSW… Elton Brand signs with the 76ers… Baron Davis finds himself signing with a now, dead-end team… Can the Clips snag some hope in the free agency market i.e. Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor… ?
The L.A. Clippers have a gutted roster, large salary cap space, and no silver lining in its immediate future.
Elton Brand‘s departure marks an immediate shift in the franchise’s prospects for future development. He was supposed to be a great cornerstone for them to build around. They even sought out the services of star PG, Baron Davis, with the hopes of presenting the air of being western conference contender. But, alas, Brand is off to the city of brotherly love; where I expect his nightly 20-10-2 nightly production to be a huge boon to the franchise’s bid to be a serious threat in the east. I expect his presence in the 76er’s roster to impact positively on everyone else there too. Andre Iguodala’s TOs will finally take a dip downward as he no longer has to be the sole offensive option. He’s always been a good passer, so expect him to find Elton open in the paint and drop one or two more for Brand stuff it easily. Andre Miller’s assists should als go up – how can they not with a solid big man like Brand as the recipient of his dishes? Hopefully, Samuel Dalembert’s games played (GP) will go up as he can now count on another solid inside presence in the paint to help him stay away from injuries. Overall, Brand and his teammates can be expected to put up marginally better fantasy numbers than last year.
Corey Maggette has flown the coop and is off to the Golden State Warriors (GSW). He will hopefully help fill the scoring void left by star PG, Baron Davis’ departure. Somehow, it obviously won’t be the same as Baron’s court sense and play making abilities will be sorely missed. It appears that there will much more playing time for Monta Ellis at the PG slot on the distant horizon. The warriors will need Monta’s ability to break down the defense through his quick-footed penetration into the paint. Corey, on the other hand, was the Clips’ leading scorer for several (injury-ridden) seasons. Fantasywise, I consider Corey to still be a big question mark. Not so much for doubts about what he can produce, but more for the lack of his health’s reliability. I am hoping for Monta to evolve and become a far superior Tony Parker (high FG with decent passing ability). Stephen Jackson will pretty much have a re-do of last year’s performance, which isn’t too bad by any fantasy standard as he was able to light it up from beyond the arc while providing good “D” (stls) on the other end of the floor.
Now that the Clippers’ two best players have left the team, who is left? Well if Baron Davis pushes through with signing with them, then I suppose he will end up being their “new” cornerstone. 24 PPG, 7.5-8 APG, 1+ SPG, 2+ 3ptPG; high TOs and low %s all around are what I expect BD to deliver. Chris Kaman has proven that he is capable of being a solid inside presence (while healthy) as shown by his early performance last season before he was slowed and sidelined with back problems. If he can stay healthy, expect him to be a solid fantasy contributor. Cuttino Mobley was able to be part of a good backcourt tandem with his former teammate in the Houston Rockets, Steve Francis. Perhaps, there’s still a little bit left in him for a new chemistry with Baron to blossom. I know it’s a bit of a stretch but hey, we’re really scraping the bottom of the Clippers barrel here.
Clippers can look at this EXODUS as a challenge to renew itself under a different paradigm. It’s not what they wanted, but we all know we don’t always get what we want…