Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Daring to Dream

It’s a big day on the NBA calendar: the official salary cap for the 2008-2009 season was announced ($58,680,000) and it’s the first day free agents can officially sign contracts. The biggest news is Elton Brand spurning the Clippers and his friend Baron Davis, apparently agreeing to a 5-year, $82 million contract with Philadelphia. The Warriors are reportedly signing Corey Maggette to a 5-year, $50 million deal. Most important — at least to Knicks fans — Brand’s move may create an opening to move Zach Randolph.

Randolph won’t be anyone’s first choice. But if you want to take a glass half-full attitude, the Clippers and Warriors have significant cap room, fantasies of competing for the playoffs, a hole at power forward and — very possibly — no one to take their money in free agency. Assuming the Davis and Maggette reports are accurate, the Clippers have $14 million in cap space left, while the Warriors have about $17 million. As far as unrestricted free agents — forget it. The best one left is James Posey, then it’s guys like Ricky Davis and Brent Barry. The plum prizes are restricted, meaning their teams can match any offer. Still, when big offers start flying, it’s no surprise when someone flinches. Here are five guys who could wreck our Randolph plans — in order of likelihood that they’ll sign with Clippers or Warriors.

Emeka Okafor — There’s been almost no news from Charlotte, but Okafor was uninterested in an offer starting at $12-13 million a year, and 10 days ago Michael Jordan was grumbling to the papers. Given Okafor’s injury history and the signs of bad blood, I won’t be surprised to see him walk if the Warriors (or Clippers) make an offer starting around $13 million. Still, as of now, the Warriors reported top choice is…

Josh Smith – Smith is a thrill to watch, Atlanta’s star gate attraction and still just 22 years old. He’s also clashed with his coaches and has plenty of holes in his game. The Hawks keep saying they’ll match any offer, but the owners are notoriously cheap. It would be a public relations disaster not to match… but if the Warriors make a huge offer, the Hawks might throw in the towel. Channeling my inner Sam Smith, the Hawks could also look at trade options. Utah or Miami might take Smith for Carlos Boozer or Shawn Marion; that would give the Hawks a short-term upgrade and massive cap room next summer. The Hawks also need money to pay…

Josh Childress — No star power, but stat-heads know him as an extremely efficient offensive player, a good rebounder for a guard and a solid defender. I doubt the Hawks will let Smith AND Childress walk, but if they pony up for Smith, I don’t think they’ll pay more than the mid-level ($5.58 million) for their 6th man. On the other hand, I don’t know if the Clips or Warriors will make him an offer.

Andre Iguodala — Iggy is far less likely to move than these others. With Brand in town, the 76ers think they can make a title run with their current lineup, and they may be right. Still, if offers for Iguodala hit the $14 million range, the Sixers might look at trade options, for a more traditional shooter/scorer. Michael Redd and Tracy McGrady spring to mind. More likely to happen in February, if at all.

Luol Deng — Since the Bulls wouldn’t trade him for Kobe, they’ll be matching offers. That’s going to dog this guy for the rest of his career.

Also worry about…

Ben Gordon — Now here’s a restricted free agent with a good chance of moving. Yeah, he’s a two-guard, but it matters to our Randolph hopes because the Bulls might decide to move Hinrich instead, in a reported trade for Al Harrington. With Harrington out of the picture, the Warriors would have to take on Zach’s full salary — making it an even longer shot.

Andris Biedrins — It’s assumed the Warriors will sign him to an extension, but if you hear they’re having second thoughts, it means they’re trying to save money for a run at one of the other guys.

73 comments on “Daring to Dream

  1. Ess-dog

    I think the Hawks keep Smith at any cost. He’s from Atlanta for christsakes! He’s their budding star. They’ll let Childress walk.
    Okafor’s a risk for any team. And he’s a good center, but is he a dream power forward? Not really, unless you have a Rasheed wallace type center. Actually, I could see him going to the Pistons in a deal. Or Josh Smith for that matter in a sign-n-trade. Detroit has great assets.
    The other question is: do we just have to live with Curry forever?

  2. AlbanyKnick

    Clippers lost Corey Maggette this morning too. They could probably use Zach Randolph’s 17 and 10 now. Let’s hope so, anyway.

  3. Kilolo

    When I heard that Brand signed with the Sixers I immediately thought of Zach being a viable choice for the Clippers. I am confident the Knicks will be able to move one or more of their big contracts. Teams take chances on talent and we have some talented players who still hold potential. I got my fingers crossed.

  4. Brendan

    It may even be a full musical chairs deal- Okafor signs with the Clips, Kittens don’t match, Jordan trades for Zbo to fill the hole. Between the two teams I’d put money on Jordan as the decision maker more likely to talk himself into thinking he’s the guy who can make Randolph live up to his potential.

  5. TDM

    Somewhere Larry Brown is having violent pangs as Brendan is opining about MJ trading for Zebo. . .

  6. Reebok1303

    Although Larry never coached Randolph, TDM is probably right, the chances of Brown signing off on any sort of deal to help the Knicks is pretty unlikely.

    As Caleb already detailed, it seems pretty obvious who the teams are focusing on at this point, and they aren’t exactly banging down the Knicks’ door with offers. If Zach does get moved it won’t probably won’t be until most, or all, of the restricted free agents are settled and some unlucky team ends up with lots of cap space and no one to spend it on.

    I just hope that if he does get the call Walsh won’t hesitate to make the move. These quotes from D’Antoni about how “talented” the team is and how they are much better then they showed last year are starting to make me a little nervous.

  7. Dan Panorama

    I wouldn’t take those D’antoni quotes too seriously. He just showed up and he has no idea who’s going to be on his roster on opening night. Why lose players in your first month by dumping on everyone as soon as you get into town? Also when coaches dump on players it hurts their trade value. I doubt D’antoni’s talking with Walsh behind closed doors about how mindblowingly awesome the 23-59 team they inherited is, otherwise they wouldn’t be clearing space for 2010 and reportedly heavily shopping the entire roster to anyone who’ll listen.

  8. Ben R

    Am I the only one who thinks Josh Smith is vastly overrated?

    I admit he is a walking highlight reel and a very good weakside shot blocker. He is also a solid on ball defender and a good rebounder for his position.

    The problem is on offense he is a mess. He has a lower career TS% than Balkman, Randolph or Crawford, all players we criticize for being unefficient scorers. He averages 2.7 Tos per 36 for his career and 3.1 last year. His carrer 3pt% is 26.3% and 25.3% last year yet he chooses to shoot 1.4 a game for his career. (Jared Jeffries who we all know is a terrible outside shooter has a 25.3% career 3pt%)

    I am not saying he is a bad player, his shotblocking, defense and rebounding give him value but he is no where near an almost max value player.

    Josh Smith, soon to be a near max value player career stats per 36:
    14.9 pts 8.1 reb 2.9 ast 1.2 stl 2.8 blk 2.7 tos 50.9% TS%

    Renaldo Balkman, bench warmer often chastised for his offense:
    10.0 pts 9.1 reb 1.5 ast 1.8 stl 1.3 blk 1.5 tos 51.4% TS%

    Overall I would say that statistically Smith is a bit better. The blocks, pts and asts go to Smith but the tos, stls, scoring eficiency and rebs going to Balkman almost make up for it. Also Balkman seems to be a better on ball defender, Smith is solid but Balkman seems very good.

    Also Smith has had four years in the league and has had 10129 minutes to improve while Balkman has had two years and 2016 minutes so overall I would say Balkman has more potential to improve despite Smith being a year younger.

    Now I know Balkman is not better than Smith, but I think they are not all that far apart and since Balkman cannot even start on one of the worst teams in the league the fact that Smith is about to get an 80+ million dollar contract is absurd.

  9. Caleb Post author

    I know where you’re coming from, Ben… if the price goes well above $10 million for Smith, it wouldn’t be that hard to find an equally good player.

    I agree his offense is mediocre. At least, it’s improving — the past two years he has upped his efficiency even while increasing his usage rate by about 70 percent. He wasn’t much less efficient than Zach Randolph — and this guy plays defense.

    On the other hand, he doesn’t play THAT much defense. He is a game-changing shot-blocker and is so long and quick he makes amazing plays, but he’s not a consistent on-ball defender. Partly a lack of strength, partly a lack of concentration. Both seem normal for a 22-year-old and I think he’ll keep improving. As noted, he’s just 22… would have been a senior this year, if he went to college. (His AAU team included Dwight Howard and Randolph Morris — how’d you like to be playing those guys when you were in H.S.?)

    I hope people take the rest of your post as a compliment to Balkman, and helps explain why some of us are so high on him. I just hope last year was a fluke and Balk’s rookie year was the real thing.

  10. Brendan

    In fairness, I would imagine Larry has a lot more respect for/willingness to deal with Donnie Walsh than he does for Isiah. I also don’t think Brown has much power in Charlotte- I read him being there as a short-term thing, the NBA equivalent of a AAA rehab assignment. That said, I was really blue-skying that proposal :)

    The Josh Smith vs. Balkman thing strikes me as a possible instance of something like an escalating marginal value in player signings (forgive my abuse of language here). To find a Balkman, you pay X; to find one 5% better than him, you pay 120% of X; to find one 10% better than him, you pay 150% of X, and so on. Each escalating level of player ability is marked by massively increasing scarcity, and thus greater relative value given a closed competitive system between 30 teams. In essence, while Smith is not, say, $10 million better than Balkman based on obvious or measurable factors inherent in the players themselves, the relative scarcity level of each creates a premium on talent which accounts for the majority of the value difference.

    All of this has to take into account the factors you guys have mentioned in re: age and likelihood of improvement as well, of course; you might be able to get someone as good as Smith for cheaper if his price soars, but probably not one with equivalent realizable potential, or one who you could project as likely to maintain his prime over the length of a max deal.

  11. Caleb Post author

    There’s also a non-basketball factor in a Smith signing — the guy sells tickets. I know Dave Berri is turning purple as he reads this — winning is what sells tickets — but between two equal players, the “star” is worth more money. I do wonder if a Smith for Boozer or Marion deal might be realistic. In the short-term it probably helps, and next year — with all the cap room — they’d have enough for two near-max signings — more, if they’re willing to go above the cap to re-sign Joe Johnson and Boozer/Marion.

  12. Z

    “There’s also a non-basketball factor in a Smith signing — the guy sells tickets.”

    An “intangible” that doesn’t show up in the box score?

  13. Caleb Post author

    Geez, we should really just hit the easy button.

    As I said in December, “I don’t think chemistry or a toxic environment has anything to do with how bad the team is – it’s because the players on the floor suck.”

    And as Ray put it, “Doesnt it seem like we keep talking about the same things on every post?”

  14. Ted Nelson

    “The Josh Smith vs. Balkman thing strikes me as a possible instance of something like an escalating marginal value in player signings (forgive my abuse of language here). To find a Balkman, you pay X; to find one 5% better than him, you pay 120% of X; to find one 10% better than him, you pay 150% of X, and so on. Each escalating level of player ability is marked by massively increasing scarcity, and thus greater relative value given a closed competitive system between 30 teams. In essence, while Smith is not, say, $10 million better than Balkman based on obvious or measurable factors inherent in the players themselves, the relative scarcity level of each creates a premium on talent which accounts for the majority of the value difference.”

    I think it’s more that no one (important) in the Atlanta front-office even knows what a TS% is and they just see Josh Smith as a 22 year old rising star who averaged 17 pts and 8 boards and will probably make all-defense soon for blocking 3 shots a game. The same can be said for the majority of front offices around the NBA in my opinion. I’m sure that if you suggested to most NBA execs that Balkman is only slightly worse than Josh Smith they’d laugh your ear off.

    The Hawks are also in a situation where they want desperately to keep together a young playoff team that might finally overshadow their complete incompetence (who replaced Billy Knight by the way? I honestly don’t remember), not realizing that they weren’t in the top 15 of the NBA in either offensive or defensive efficiency and are probably equally likely to take a step backwards next season as a step forward (especially is they let Childress go).

  15. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    I agree that last year’s Knicks sucked, but I just don’t know if a better environment wouldn’t have made them marginally better.

  16. Brian Cronin

    And as Ray put it, “Doesnt it seem like we keep talking about the same things on every post?”

    David Lee is overrated!!

  17. Anthony

    Two points- General NBA- Baron Davis has NOT signed an actual contract yet. This can get very interesting if you think about it.

    Knicks- Balkman vs. Smith. Balkman is very limited. The minutes he plays and who is plays against is very different from Josh Smith. I dont love Josh Smith, but I would suggest that extended minutes would only lead to diminishing returns on Balkman. Some players are just not starting players, and Balkman is a 15-20 MPG player tops.

  18. DS

    Guys,

    I want to remain positive but NO ONE is taking Z-Bo off our hands without also getting an additional sweetener (expiring contract, some combo of Lee/Nate/Danilo/Renaldo?, draft picks). At least not with this many years remaining on his contract.

  19. Ben R

    Anthony – Like most players Balkman’s stats are likely to improve with more minutes, not decline. It has been said many times on this site but most players do better, per minute, with more minutes not worse. The only realistic thing keeping Balkman back, minutes wise is his tendancy to get in foul trouble, averaging over 5 pfs per 36 minutes this year. Luckily with most players especially wings that should go down as he matures.

    As for another comparison lets look at Josh Smith vs Josh Childress. I think Childress is a much better player and Atlanta will miss him alot more than Smith.

    Josh Smith:
    Career: 14.9 pts 8.1 reb 2.9 ast 1.2 stl 2.8 blk 2.7 tos 50.9 TS% 26.3 3pt%
    Last Year: 17.5 pts 8.4 reb 3.4 ast 1.5 stl 2.8 blk 3.1 tos 52.0 TS% 25.3 3pt%

    Josh Childress:
    Career: 12.8 pts 6.4 reb 2.1 ast 1.2 stl 0.6 blk 1.6 tos 59.9 TS% 36.0 3pt%
    Last Year: 14.2 pts 5.9 reb 1.9 ast 1.1 stl 0.7 blk 1.6 tos 64.7 TS% 36.7 3pt%

    Josh Childress is an extremely underrated player and will be a bargin for any team that signs him for anything near the mid-level. I think he is about an equal overall defender to Smith and a much better offensive player. I think Atlanta is going to keep the wrong player and fall out of the playoff race next year unless Williams or Horford take a big step forward.

    DS – I do not think we need to sweeten the deal. For example the LAC trade has us taking two players LA does not want Mobley and Thomas and they are only taking one additional year of salary, to get a player I am guessing most of the NBA sees as a big step up in talent.

    While trading Randolph for expirings might require a sweetener, trading him for slightly shorter contracts of less talented and just as over paid players should not.

    Thats why a Randolph for Hughes, Ben Wallace, Mason/Gadzaric, Thomas/Mobley, etc should not require a sweetener just a little patience on our side.

  20. DS

    Ben R – In my opinion, LAC and Cleveland would view potentially trading for Z-Bo as swapping their dead weight contracts for a longer term dead weight contracts in other words, I’m not sure they view as Z-Bo as that much more talented as the players you mentioned.

    Here’s to hoping they think he’s worth the gamble though.

  21. TDM

    Actually, a starting 5 of Kaman, Zebo, Thornton, Rose and Baron would at minimum make the Clips interesting. Perhaps we could throw in Mardy with Zebo to give them a backup pg in exchange for Fazekas, Mobley and Tim “Fugazi” Thomas.

  22. HereComesTheRooster

    Andrew Bogut just signed a 5/72.5MM extension with the Bucks
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3480697

    Basically a career double double on over 50% shooting, 2 blocks per game, in over 30 mpg, 17.5 PER. Also a 7 footer ..

    Which brings me to David Lee — not exactly comparable, but I’m sure lee’s agent will find some similarities. I wouldn’t want to commit over 20% of the cap to a player with either skillset, so I’d be inclined to try to Lee this offseason or the next.

    The floor of Lee’s next contract has been set with contracts signed by players like Diop. Okafor will also probably get a big money extension shortly as well.

    I’ve seen Josh Smith mentioned here, and I’d be much more inclined to offer 12 MM to a a 22 yrd old player still improving if given the choice (though I’d rather not). Josh Smith must be ecstatic with this contract.

  23. Thomas B.

    Guys,
    I want to remain positive but NO ONE is taking Z-Bo off our hands without also getting an additional sweetener (expiring contract, some combo of Lee/Nate/Danilo/Renaldo?, draft picks). At least not with this many years remaining on his contract.

    Finally an objective view. Thank you. I agree with you. Very few GMs in the NBA would take on 17 million in salary for a player that has not proven he can contribute to a winning team. Three years after this deal, the Clips are paying 17 million and the Knicks are free of contracts they brought in. Zach’s 17-10 be damned, I’m not taking that much extra money for a guy that has bounced around and cant seem to win. Furthermore, the entire NBA knows that the Knicks are desperate to move Randolph. When demand is low you have to give more incentive. Its just like real estate, 5 years ago just about everybody got their asking price. Now that the market has cooled, sellers have to give concessions. Knicks are the sellers and it is a buyers market.

    Now even in a buyers market, a team will over pay for a guy that can really get things done. So ask yourself, is Zach one of those guys? Probably not. Zach was fifth in the NBA in point-rebound double doubles with 40. The top 10 players…. Duncan*, Boozer*, Jamison*, Odom*, Randolph*, Okafor*, Marion, Garnett, West, and Bosh. *= at least 10 rebounds a game. Of those players Zach is probably the worst defender, he has the fewest blocked shots, 3rd lowest assists, tied for 4th in steals. Now of that list, probably only Okafor, Marion, and Randolph are available. If you are a GM what order would you rank the three players? My rank: 1. Okafor 2. Marion 3. Randolph. If I had to spend 14 million, I’d like the player that can also play defense. Now a shrewed Gm would look a little further down the list to find a player that could provide somewhat lower numbers but who is substantially more cost efficient. Two names that could be had are Drew Gooden and Chris Wilcox. They make half what Zach does and are only slighty behind him in production. Compare Gooden’s 12 and 8, and Wilcox’s 13 and 7 with Zach’s 17 and 10. Also compare Zach’s 40 million owed with Wilcox’s 6.7 million owed, and Gooden’s 7.1 million owed. Even Nick Collison, who isnt that far behind Zach, is a more cost effective option at 19 million owed.

    Check the stats, if you create a salary to production ratio fro any of the players i mentioned, Zach will be the least favorable option. If that is obvious to an idiot like me, why would the Clippers not see that.

    Clips order of attack…
    Okafor
    Marion
    Gooden
    Wilcox
    do nothing
    Randolph

  24. TDM

    “Very few GMs in the NBA would take on 17 million in salary for a player that has not proven he can contribute to a winning team”

    I love Elton Brand, but has he ever contributed to a winning team?

    “If that is obvious to an idiot like me, why would the Clippers not see that.”

    Because they are the Clippers. They share an arena with the Lakers, and are generally considered a joke (similar to the Knicks), and definitely play second fiddle to Kobe, et al in L.A. Brand split because he spent the best part of his career on a losing team with lame management.

    Actually, if I were Sterling, I’d jump at a chance to dump an aging Cat Mobley and Tim Thomas to get a guy like Zebo, even if he does hang around a couple more years. (Of course, this is assuming they can’t lure Okafor away from the Bobcats)

    What else do the Clips have to look forward to next year? Baron Davis feeding the post to Solomon Grundy? Yeah, that’ll be exciting.

  25. Ess-dog

    Hmmm Thom B, when you put it that way, I stop daring to dream. I guess the best idea would be to start and play Zach as much as possible until he has value (it should help to run one year off that contract.)
    I think this makes buying out or trading Steph all the more important. It’s really hard in the workplace to have 2 bad seeds, always corrupting the environment at unpredictable places and times. You never know where the crazy energy is going to come from. But with one bad seed, it’s easier to isolate the problems and squash them. So if you surround Zach with Class Acts, I think he will adapt. Therefore, any negative influence should go. Steph, maybe even Nate. I would like to give Duhon, Jamal, Balkman (because of defense), Randolph, and Curry one year to work as a unit with Lee, Gallinari and one or two other players off the bench. Maybe we could just work to package Steph and Chandler for draft picks or something, but I really doubt anyone trades for Steph at that price unless we take back an onion. I would also trade Nate for a proven minutes guy at the SG spot who can defend (possibly an expiring contract.) Then we raise value, who cares how good we are next year anyway?

  26. Ben R

    Thomas B – I agree that Randolph is a terrible player, don’t get me wrong, but he puts up big numbers. (Plus Duncan, Boozer, Jamison, Garnett, West and Bosh are not availiable and Marion and Odom are more SF’s than PF’s and teams would have to give up assets to aquire them) Okafor best option on that list, but he is restricted, and as long as Okafor is availiable I do not see alot of teams moving on Randolph, but in a month or two when every good bigman is taken, I see a desperate team like LAC, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Atlanta (if they lose Smith), Charlotte (if they lose Okafor), etc making a move. (Besides Okafor has had less sucess than Randolph, Randolph has at least been to the playffs)

    Somebody is going to get left out in the cold when free agency is all done. If win now teams like Cleveland or LAC end up not being able to improve themselves someone will bite.

    We need to give it time. Plus unless teams are only looking for one year rentals players like Marion, Odom, Gooden and Wilcox will need new contracts which will end up costng more money in the long run than Randolph.

  27. Z

    “The Knicks are the sellers and it is a buyers market.”

    Judging from Caleb’s post at the top of this thread, it doesn’t look like a buyer’s market. Inventory is low. In a buyer’s market inventory is high. If you want a Power Forward, pickings are slim. If you NEED a Power Forward because you paid a zillion dollars to a Point Guard to “win now”, you pretty much need to buy whatever is being sold to you.

    Hopefully the Clippers feel they NEED a Power Forward.

    Also, the price is pretty good. A bunch of garbage for a starting PF is a good PR move. Plus, $17 million isn’t really that much for Sterling. He’s pinched so many pennies serving his kids Cup O’ Noodles every night for dinner that all he needs to do is grab a piggy bank out of his Malibu estate, hand it to Z-Bo in 2011, and say “thanks for helping us grab the 8th seed two years ago. It was totally worth it.”

  28. TDM

    “Yes, Brand has contributed to a winning team”

    Well, one year out of eight doesn’t really prove anything. Zach Randolph helped the Blazers achieve a record of .500 or higher in 4 of the 7 seasons he spent there.

  29. TDM

    Even Marbury, the perennial loser, has contributed to a winning team in 3 of his 12 season…

  30. Z

    “The Clips aren’t known for opening their wallets…”

    True, but you can throw history out the window because they have, presumably, shelled out $65 million for Baron Davis. And they offered another $60 million to Brand, so in the past week they have shown just how much they are willing to spend. Certainly they can afford Randolph, IF they want him…

  31. Captain Merlin

    Love the Solomon Grundy reference…except Kaman now, with his long hair sorta looks like what would happen if the comic character and Tom petty had a bastard child.

    Though the Clips are a plausible destination for Randolph, I feel very pessimistic about the whole situation…like we’re the last ones in the league to have thought he could be a decent player. Caught holding the hot potato with nowhere to pass it.

  32. mastermind

    While I’d love to see a team of low-volume, high-efficient shooters like Lee and Childress, most teams function with at least one or two guys who take a bunch of shots. It’s probably hard to run an offense when you don’t have guys who are willing to put a lot of shots up.

    Player, Max FGA/game in a season
    Randolph, 18.9
    Brand, 18.2
    Marion, 18.1
    Smith, 14.0
    Okafor, 13.7
    Gooden, 11.5
    Wilcox, 10.3

    While it might be cost-effective to pick up Gooden or Wilcox, the Clippers might struggle to get up shots with one of them starting. They could be solid fourth or fifth scoring options, but the Clippers roster really needs a first or second option to go along with Davis. Granted, picking up Randolph probably won’t lead to any kind of success, but it would be somewhat sensible, especially if they could dump Thomas and Mobley’s contracts in the process.

    And if they can’t get (or don’t want to pay for) someone like Randolph who has experience taking a lot of shots, then they should at least go for someone who has played less but has high FGA/36 minutes, like Charlie Villanueva. Like Randolph, he’s not a very efficient scorer, but he would at least shoot if given the minutes.

    Also, if they are able to pick up a power forward and still have cap space, I could see them making an offer to JR Smith. Again, he’s someone who’s shown the willingness to be a volume shooter and could be useful to them. He also may possess some of the ‘draw’ qualities that Josh Smith seems to have, what with all his dunking and three pointers, and the Nuggets might not match an offer above the mid-level.

  33. TDM

    I wasn’t sure if people would get the reference – I thought maybe only people in LA called him that. Thanks to KB, I may have to change my avatar now…

  34. Z

    “I want to remain positive but NO ONE is taking Z-Bo off our hands without also getting an additional sweetener (expiring contract, some combo of Lee/Nate/Danilo/Renaldo…”

    Fine. Throw in Nate. That might solve this problem: “Z-Bo is not going to add much excitement” -DS

    Randolph + Nate for Mobley, Fugazi, and either Jordan/Fazekas/DeAndre/future pick.

    Please, oh please, oh please…

  35. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I was crying when you said Solomon Grundy. Took me all of a half second to figure out who you were talking about. Growing up I was more of a Marvel guy, but I watched enough Superfriends as a kid to love Grundy. Definitely one of the better characters on that show.

  36. DS

    I also love the Superfriends reference BUT “Zach Randolph helped the Blazers achieve a record of .500 or higher in 4 of the 7 seasons he spent there.”

    Where are you getting this???

  37. Dave

    The incentive for the Clippers is keeping their cap space and their top talent. That’s the incentive.

    Cuttino+Thomas have two years on their deals. Zach has three. It’s one year extra. It’s not some incredible burden on their franchise. It rids them of two bad contracts who aren’t producing anything near what Zach brings to the table and are both really 7th and 8th men on most teams.

  38. TDM

    Zebo was drafted in 2001 if I’m not mistaken, and was traded before this past season. So, he was contributing from 01-02 through 06-07.

    YEAR W L Finish

    2006-07 32 50 4th
    2005-06 21 61 5th
    2004-05 27 55 4th
    2003-04 41 41 3rd
    2002-03 50 32 2nd
    2001-02 49 33 3rd
    2000-01 50 32 4th

  39. Z

    “2002-03 50 32 2nd”

    This was the only winning team Randolph ever contributed to (he had a small role in 2001-02. Not exactly resume material.)

  40. TDM

    “This was the only winning team Randolph ever contributed to (he had a small role in 2001-02. Not exactly resume material.)”

    Regardless, the fact is that the Blazers had a winning record in 3 of the 7 seasons Zebo was there, and a .500 season as well.

    Brand had 7 losing seasons in L.A., and 1 winning season.

    Again, I’m not saying that Zebo is a better player than Brand. I’m saying that Brand has not proven that he can contribute to a winning team. If we go back to his days in Chicago, Brand has only played on a team with a winning record in 1 of his 10 seasons in the league, yet teams were lining up to pay him more than Zebo makes. the point is that it is not that crazy to think that the Clips would make a play for Zach.

  41. Thomas B.

    TDM,

    My friend, did not Elton Brand play a role on recent Clipper’s playoff team? I hate to use playoffs as the barometer because it is a team game. But lets just compare individual awards and you can see Brand is much better than Zach. Brand is a two time all star, 2nd team All NBA-or basically the third best forward in the league that year-and I rookie of the year award. Randolph’s awards: Oregon strip club association First Team. 2 time defenseless player of the year award.
    —————
    Ess-dog,

    Yes, give up the dream and your journey to the dark side will be complete. Embrace the power of the dark side then together we will overthrow Mike K. and Caleb, and rule this website!
    —————
    Ben-R,

    True, Odom and Marion a better suited to play 3. I just dont think Randolph’s big numbers are so big that it justfies paying him twice what you would pay Drew Gooden to get somewhat similar production.
    ———-

    It IS a buyers market. Yes there are few assets available but there are even fewer teams in a position to buy. You have to look at the number of buyers, not the number of teams. In terms of Randoplh you need to look at teams that: 1. Want/Need a PF 2. Either have the cap room or the wallet to take on Zach’s contract 3. Has a GM with an outlook rosy enough to think Zach is the answer to his team’s playoff success. How many teams do you think fit the bill? I cant think of any.
    —————-
    Z,
    I really do think that this crop of available PF’s is greater than the number of teams that want to pay them. Look Philly took Brand and themselves off the market yesterday. That leaves GS and LAC as the only teams that are willing to pony up for the remaining talent. That is two teams out of 30, that is a buyers market.
    —————-
    Grundy wants his soul back!
    http://www.seanbaby.com/superfriends/grundy.htm

  42. TDM

    “did not Elton Brand play a role on recent Clipper’s playoff team? I hate to use playoffs as the barometer because it is a team game. But lets just compare individual awards and you can see Brand is much better than Zach. Brand is a two time all star, 2nd team All NBA-or basically the third best forward in the league that year-and I rookie of the year award.”

    Yes, you are correct, Brand is a much better player than Zach as a whole. But you always hear people discredit players by saying “he’s the best player and a bad team” or “he’s never played for a winning team”, etc. Don’t both of those statements describe Brand? Pointing to 1 season out of 10 years in the league hardly refutes that point. Even Zach has been to the playoffs twice, in less years in the league.

    Again, the point I was trying to make was that the Clippers may be willing to pony up $17 mill for a guy that gets 20-10 on a regular basis, despite the fact that he has been labelled a loser.

    On a separate note, it looks like the reason Brand chose the Sixers was because the Clips were trying to low-ball him, while the Sixers told Brand that they would pay any price to get him. The Clips told Brand’s agent that they wouldn’t match the Sixers offer, so he bolted.

  43. Z

    “I really do think that this crop of available PF’s is greater than the number of teams that want to pay them. Look Philly took Brand and themselves off the market yesterday. That leaves GS and LAC as the only teams that are willing to pony up for the remaining talent. That is two teams out of 30, that is a buyers market.”

    GS and LAC have the cap room. But CLE and ORL and DEN are win-now buyers at the PF position too.

    Of the forwards on your list, Okafor they have little control over as he is restricted; Marion they don’t have the assets for without a 3rd team helping them out; Wilcox was already traded away by the Clips (perhaps because of the DWI/gun possession charges against him); Gooden is not being traded for Mobley/Thomas, so he too would require a 3rd team (plus, he’s not exactly a seductive option– he’s played for 4 teams in his 6 years as a pro and using the currency that most NBA execs and fans value (points/rebounds per game) doesn’t even measure up to Randolph positively.

    So I continue to dare to dream…

  44. TDM

    It looks like the Clips are going to go full tilt in trying to lure Josh or Emeka. Today they renounced all rights to Livingston, Dan Dickau, Boniface Ndong, Smush Parker and James Singleton.

    Anyone know how ‘renouncing rights’ affects their salary cap situation?

  45. Thomas B.

    TDM,

    “Again, the point I was trying to make was that the Clippers may be willing to pony up $17 mill for a guy that gets 20-10 on a regular basis, despite the fact that he has been labelled a loser.”

    Fair point. And the reason this discussion even has legs is because it involves the Clippers. Their personnel decisions rarely make sense. So while I dont think they should do it, you are right in that they may be willing to pony up the 17 million to get 20-10. They are the Clips afterall.

  46. daaarn

    Anyone know how ‘renouncing rights’ affects their salary cap situation?

    Well those contracts go off their payroll, so it gives them a lot more flexibility. Don’t know how much they free up exactly, but a quick glance tells me about $6million I think? most of it b/c of Livingston’s rookie contract.

  47. Z

    The Clip’s payroll stands at $28.5 million, about $30 million under the cap. If Baron (and Sterling) keep his word and signs they will have about $17 million to offer.

    ($17 million you say? I know a PF they can have for that…)

  48. jon abbey

    right now, on ClipperBlogger:

    “And the reason this discussion even has legs is because it involves the Knicks. Their personnel decisions rarely make sense. So while I dont think they should do it, you are right in that they may be willing to send us Lee, Balkman and Rose for Kaman’s bloated contract. They are the Knicks afterall.”

  49. daaarn

    Lord I want the Knicks to bilk another team for once so badly. It’s high time we come out on top of one of these deals.

  50. Thomas B.

    right now, on ClipperBlogger:
    “And the reason this discussion even has legs is because it involves the Knicks. Their personnel decisions rarely make sense. So while I dont think they should do it, you are right in that they may be willing to send us Lee, Balkman and Rose for Kaman’s bloated contract. They are the Knicks afterall.”

    Two sides, same coin.

  51. TDM

    While I wouldn’t classify Kaman (er, Grundy) as a prototypical D’Antoni guy, he certainly isn’t a stiff. That said, there’s no way I’d do that deal. Kaman creates a further logjam. While we do need a shotblocker, we would need to dump either Curry or Randolph in a deal like that. How about Kaman and Mobley for Randolph and Jeffries?

  52. Brian Cronin

    Randolph is not a good player, but I do remember the playoffs in 2003, when Randolph was so dominant against the Mavericks in the first round that really, I think, made everyone think he was worth the huge money he got the next season.

    The guy was 21 years old and the Mavs had no answer for him on the low post as they won three in a row against Dallas after Dallas won the first three (where Randolph did not play as much).

    So yeah, he’s not good, but I recall when everyone legitimately loved this guy as someone who could help a team win games.

  53. Z

    Turns out there really is some interesting stuff over at ClipperBlogger (http://www.clipperblog.com/index.php/item/609#c)

    There’s a letter posted by a season ticket holder who tried to cancel his subscription. The Clippers replied to his request with:

    “…I know what you are going through. In fact, I have come across your name on Clipperblog today many a time today. You know I feel misled. The whole organization feels misled. The Clippers did try to secure EB but David Falk is very smart with his words, trying to get others to think otherwise. You said the Clippers weren’t trying but we got EB what he wanted: Baron Davis. But EB was the one that backstabbed me, you and Clipper Nation. We got him everything he wanted but he still stepped away from what? A 1 million dollar difference?…my manager told me that actually we would need a letter from you instead of an email to confirm this refund. Again, you still have your great seats. Hold off a little bit and take some time. We will recover from this…please re-consider this choice. You seem like you know a lot about the Clippers and I am sorry to hear that you are upset but we are all in the same boat as you. Give it some time and send in the refund letter into the office if you feel like it is the best way to go.”

    And later in the thread Zach Randolph shows up and makes a plea to the Clippers to trade for him.

    Good stuff…

  54. cwod

    From Chad Ford’s chat:

    Nick (NYC): With Elton Brand’s departure from the Clippers, Zach Randolph’s stock just went up. Can you see Randolph going there for maybe Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, and cash? Remember Clips are under the cap so they don’t have to match salaries.

    Chad Ford: I think Mike Dunleavy would kill himself. Randolph is very talented, but he’s no Elton Brand. Dunleavy loved that Brand was a special person and a great leader and role model for his team. Now with Baron Davis and Randolph … ugh. I agree the Clippers may ultimately move that direction if they can’t get a free agent like Josh Smith or Emeka Okafor or another veteran like Shawn Marion. But I don’t think they’ll give up Eric Gordon. If they take Randolph, that’s payment enough for the Knicks.

  55. Brian Cronin

    How dumb do you have to be to suggest the Clippers trade the #7 pick in the draft for Zach freakin’ Randolph?!?

    I like that Ford thinks Z-Bo to the Clippers is realistic, though!

    Bless you, David Falk! Your scheming ways may help us yet!!

  56. DS

    I’m sure the Clippers think the best way to keep pace with the Lakers and their nucleus (all under 30?) of Kobe, Gasol, Odom and Bynum is to logjam their payroll w/ Z-Bo.

  57. DS

    Wouldn’t they wait a year, maybe grab someone like Boozer or Artest next year, let Thomas and Mobley come off the books and still be big players in the 2010 free agent market??

  58. TDM

    “Wouldn’t they wait a year, maybe grab someone like Boozer or Artest next year, let Thomas and Mobley come off the books and still be big players in the 2010 free agent market??”

    I would say yes they should, however, the Clips feel they got the shaft by Elton Brand. They really thought they had a playoff caliber team before Brand split. I think 3 things will make them make another big move this off-season: 1. they don’t want to lose momentum; 2. they just spent a boatload to get Baron, which will be wasted money if they don’t fill the void left by Brand now; and 3. they feel spurned by Brand and will make an emotional decision to replace him.

    At first I supported Brand in his decision, but the more I hear, he really screwed the Clips. I don’t know if it has played in NY, but here in LA on espn radio yesterday, they interviewed Coach Dunleavy. He was reading emails from his blackberry that were sent back and forth between he and Brand. Basically, Brand asked Dunleavy to go to Sterling and get him what he wanted. Dunleavy did so, and got him everything he asked for, including bringing in Baron Davis. Then, in a move probably orchestrated by Falk, the weak-minded Brand went back on his word. Dunleavy said that he considered Brand a friend and that if he had just come to him and said he changed his mind, it would have been no big deal. However, to leave and then bag on the clips saying they were being cheap (albeit, a totally believable allegation) was like stabbing Dunleavy in the back.

    Bottom line, if the clips don’t get Emeka or Josh, I think they will get desparate and Zach may be just the bait.

  59. ess-dog

    I like this part the best:

    “The Knicks appear to believe that Randolph will provide a highly productive season under new coach Mike D’Antoni, which could raise his value much higher than it is today. That’s why the Knicks were not interested in nearly giving away Randolph’s contract, according to the sources.”

    Unbelievable.

  60. TDM

    Hopefully the deal is not dead and Donnie is just playing hard ball to get another piece like Fazekas or DeAndre Jordan.

  61. Z

    That is a good offer. Basically, once Fugazi and Cat are waived the whole Zach Randolph episode would end up costing nothing more than 1 extra year of salary and Channing Frye– that’s pretty good damage control.

    I like the new conservative leadership but lightning may not strike twice. (Instead of rejecting the offer, couldn’t Walsh have tried to get Jordan, Faz, or future picks, and if the Clips didn’t bite, then accept the salary dump?

    This trade would have made my summer…

  62. Z

    Hell, the Clips have the salary room to take Randolph AND Crawford for Fugazi and Cat.

    Why can’t the Knicks see a good thing when it hits them in the face……

  63. jon abbey

    wow, I hope that’s not true.

    “The Knicks appear to believe that Randolph will provide a highly productive season under new coach Mike D’Antoni, which could raise his value much higher than it is today.”

    that reminds me a bit of Cashman not letting Igawa go when the Padres claimed him last year, that’s worked out GREAT so far.

Comments are closed.