Clippers Off-Season Will Be Tough Too

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laclippers
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Article from LATimes

Clippers off-season will be difficult too

The link is right here, I'm just including the important parts.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketbal ... full.story

By Jonathan Abrams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

April 16, 2008

Does Elton Brand opt out of the last year of his contract? Does Corey Maggette do the same? Who is the team's starting point guard? How does Shaun Livingston fit into plans? What about their lottery pick?

What happens to the rest of the team with only five players signed for next year, not counting Brand or Maggette?

"This is an important year for management," Maggette said. "Not just me, but there's a few other guys on this team they have to make decisions on as well."

One Clippers player says he grades Dunleavy a C-minus on the season because the team would have benefited from running an open-court style of play.

The few bright spots?

Al Thornton, who will be Maggette's heir should he depart, sparkled through much of his rookie season and center Chris Kaman was posting career-best numbers before injuries limited him to the fewest games of his career.

Dunleavy said he was still confident everything will come together this off-season. He envisions the team will retain Brand and Maggette, make a good draft selection and bolster one of the strongest front-courts next season.

In other words, wait until next year, which is a familiar Clippers rallying cry.

Dunleavy is aware of what the team is up against, after watching the losses pile up and witnessing the Western Conference grow deep, more top heavy.

"Obviously, we need to go to the fullest extent of what we can expend, which I think we will," he said, "just put all of the resources together -- a good draft pick and then the free-agent market."

First up are in-house matters.

Maggette is expected to opt-out of the final season of his contract and test what is shaping up to be a limited-spending free-agent market. Publiclyhe has said he wants to remain with the Clippers, although it's believed he is still undecided on returning.

"I understand the business, the limit they can go to," Maggette said. "It's up to them. It's not up to me. They already know where I want to be. I want to be here. If I can't, then it's just a part of business and I had a great time being here."

Brand is also believed to be leaning toward opting out. He has repeatedly said that if negotiations go right between the team and David Falk, his agent, that he will return. If so, it will probably be under a new contract.

"You look at security, what's on the table and what you have coming in the next year and what's on the table for how long," Brand said of his thought process. "For a new team, you look at is that team a better situation for you? And then you've got to look at salary again."

Maggette and Brand said they would wait until the playoffs end before making their decisions.

Of the pair, Dunleavy noted: "Nothing is for certain, but I think if I had to place a bet today, I'd place a bet that they would both be back."

Livingston is still recovering from a serious knee injury that has sidelined him for 14 months, leaving his point-guard-of-the-future status up in the air. He is due a $5.8-million qualifying offer this summer, a tricky proposition because Clippers management has not been able to evaluate his recovery on the court.

Even if he is healthy, the Clippers are expected to select a guard in the draft, a group that will probably include USC's O.J. Mayo, Texas' D.J. Augustin, Indiana's Eric Gordon and Arizona's Jerryd Bayless. And if luck finds them, the Clippers will have no trouble drafting Memphis guard Derrick Rose, if they get one of the top two picks.

laclippers
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Do you guys think Maggette and/or EB are returning. This is my top priority. I want both of them back.

EB deserves no more than what he's getting now. maybe 17 million a year for 4 years?

For Maggette, he deserves 11 million for maybe 3 or 4?

No player options

david
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Good read- yup I definitely hope both will be back. And I hope both will help the team with some flexibility on their salary demands. That way it will help the team sign/re-sign the players needed to bring the team to the playoffs once again. EB- I hope he'll take something like 5 year, $65 mil, and Corey, hopefully 5 year $50 to $55 mil. They can have an opt out clause in 2 or 3 seasons if they wish.

Here is the 2008 free agent list:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/stor ... freeagents

clipps04
CTB MVP X1
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Man this is so nerve-racking. I don't see how we can function without EB and a strong PG. We really need to make sure we get our star back here and pick up a strong guard through the draft or free-agent. We also need a reliable outside shooter as all of us have been saying. This could either be a great off season or it could be devastating.

Hopefully our rookies improve even more as well as our bench.

clipshow
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I hope EB stays.If Corey makes a commitment to D then i would want him to come back. I'm sorry everybody but i am a big Livingston fan so i hope that he will come back healthy and he can shoot that jumper with someone guarding him. Then that leaves what we have been missing for two years a great shooter. Maybe make a play for james jones or mike miller. And in the draft get someone that will actually be able to contribute next season. I just hope they dont screw it up like they have the past couple of years. Still think ron artest is an upgrade to corey but whatever. We actually will have some money to make a play in the free agent market and get some key componets. Lets cross our fingers and hope they dont get cheap or stupid.

RussDaddy
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Sterling=cheap..... but anyway I'm a big livingston also and I'm confident that he will bounce back. as for the offseason aquisitions i'd say we go for mikey miller because we get so much height. think of our rebounding, shooting, and just energy he will bring. I seriously think Navarro will be a sniper in this league. I say next year, with whoever he signs with... he will be a nice pick up. I say we pick up a point gaurd, and draft a nice prospect. Honestly we don't need an impact draftee now. just think

Kaman, Brand, Thornton, Mobley, Livingston or new Free agent

We draft a Big, Tim thomas and powell, Mike Miller, Q, Navarro

Brevin, maybe Davis, and open spot

that would make 15, i'd say we get Bill Walker if he enter, and get him in the second round, or if Baby Shaq from Europe comes, they can take Davis' spot on the roster. All I'm saying is that we are a few players from being a nice contender, given we are healthy thhroughout the year.

Thats my thoughts... hope the front office can read all our input, because our thoughts will definitely help them out. thats all i got for tonite... not a good season, but I have seen improvement in certain players, and i'm definitely looking forward to next season... we got something special... given our health of course

clipnasty
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I wish we could somehow dump TThomas, too bad noone will want him...

2pac
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We should get Hayes form the pistons and maybe trade him for Tim Thomas. He is better than Thomas and could shot from the 3 point very good

clipperfan714
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LOL.....who wants Tim Thomas? Does anybody want Smush Parker.....................dump them, & Maggette

Use Maggette money towards re-signing Brand & getting an

ALL-Star caliber shooting guard (Arenas, Miller, Davis)

and get a PG through the draft.

toohipcliptoslip
CTB MVP X1
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Thomas is a player that can make his team worse. Don't count on Corey leaving. It's all gonna come down to money. Dunleavy seems to have let Corey pretty much do his Corey thing so maybe they've kissed and made up. The only extra $ we may have is from Sam and there won't be much if we keep EB and CM because of their raises. Sorry, this has been said before but it's going to be hard to get a franchise player to leave a playoff contender team and come to a team that's always a train wreck. They have to be promised $$ and a GOOD team. We may need a SG more than a PG. If Corey stays, Q can't shoot, Cat's getting old and Corey is a better SF. If Corey stays and if he works on his Penetrate and Dish, as long as he doesn't have to create his own shot that would be one of the keys. (fat chance)

If Corey stays, I could live with our present PG's plus Ellis (plus #14)

laclippers
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Location: Los Angeles, California
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Sterling isn't so cheap anymore. I am not counting on Livingston. Knowing Dunleavy, Clippers will probably exercise their option of Livingston saying "His progress has been impressive." and he won't be as great as he could be. He'll be like a rookie again. Keep Thomas, unless we can get a great outside shooter to replace.

jlemmen43
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The re-signing Maggette is what concerns me. He's not worth the extra money if it denies us getting a good FA guard. He has skills that Thornton can already do (just that Al's inconsistent as all rookies are). We NEED GUARD HELP, and Re-signing Corey takes away from that. I don't care if it'd be nice to keep him, he's gotta go for this team to move on. Al Thornton IS his replacement and then some. You give Corey a 5-year extension and you'll regret it in 3 years. He's got no more upside. Brand is a different case, because he brings a great overall game every night. Maggette has some big weaknesses. He isnt worth re-signing.

toohipcliptoslip
CTB MVP X1
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Corey is and has been the subject of most of our discussions. I think we all wish he had more to bring to the table. Admit it fellas we all love the guy but either he can't improve or he doesn't care. His TO's and charges have dropped a lot and he is the 10th highest scorer (what ever that means) He has had 5 assists in some games - not bad. After his first two steps the D collapses and I've seen him make a few Nash-like passes. The reason I'm saying this is because I got an e-mail from the Clipps today promising a better team nxt yr. It probably means the ATM is open which means they're likely to keep Corey. I still think Luxury tax. If so who cares Sterling owes this team. Some sports writer and I can't remember who said he and CK if they meet their potential should have one nasty two man game then throw EB into the mix. In other words JL43 I agree but the Gods may not

david
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We definitely need guard help, and hopefully that will come via the draft & free agency. We also need inside help too.

I'll have to side with toohip on the Maggette issue- his scoring and effort are very valuable and I hope both sides will come to a fair deal. Interestingly he has said it's up to the Clippers, while Dunleavy has just said in the latest LA Times article that it's up to Corey.... 5 year, 55 mil sounds good to me. If he won't take it then we might have to make a similar offer to Luol Deng to replace him....

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