Ralph Lawler calls him a scoring machine. In summer league everybody said he was the best, the most athletic. His team mates are at times in awe. The staff are trying hard not to say to much. But the handwriting might just already be on the pervurbial wall. And the story is going to leak out. This kid can play.
OK, what you did in college, well that was then and this is now. Granted 20 PPG with 7 RPG in 31 minutes is pretty good for a college game. And hitting 53 % from the field and 44% from the 3, is pretty solid. But is it good enough to make the Clippers forget all about Corey Maggette?
The answer to that question would be easier if it were not this season. With Shaun Livingston and Elton Brand out to start the season, the Clippers are now more than ever looking for Corey Maggette to carry the team. Just prior to his last collision with injuries, Corey led the team and averaged over 20 points per game. They now need him to do that and even more.
Al Thorton finally got some significant minutes in Sunday nights game on the road against the athletic Warriors, and threw down 24 points, hitting 11 of 15 shots. It would seem that the Clippers could use that kind of play, along with Corey's, to help fill the gap while we are waiting for EB to return.
But what if come January the season is lost, and it is starting to look like a rebuilding year? They might feel that by the time EB returns, it might be too late, and EB not strong enough to make a difference, to make the playoffs, or go very far if you got there. What if Corey's agent signals to the Clippers that he is not coming back and will sign elsewhere next summer? What if Al Thorton is scoring in double figures with a high shooting percentage?
This is a scenario that could lead to the Clippers dealing Corey away before the trading deadline. They would at least get something for him instead of just letting him depart during the summer and leave the Clippers stuck holding the bag. An expiring contract and a first round draft pick would be nice. Especially if the option is........nothing.
Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. Either way, if Al Thorton turns into the scoring monster that some think he just might turn out to be, we are good if Corey stays, and we are good if Corey goes. But if Al is the heir apparent at SF, then getting a stud shooting guard for Corey wouldn't be all that bad. Gilbert Arenas anyone?