It wasn't suppose to end this way. When Sam came to the Clippers they were a team on the rise. He helped them rise even further and for the first time in awhile they made the playoffs. The future looked bright.
Last season many pundits picked the Clippers to make an even stronger run in the playoffs than they had the previous year. Then things started to unravel. First, after Chris Kaman signed a contract extension he decided to go into hybernation. Sam struggled often with injuries. Then Shaun Livingston ripped his knee apart. The team struggled to a dismal finish.
Last summer was again full of promise. We made a crafty draft pick in Al Thorton and things were looking up. But the Clippers failed to sign one of the top free agent point guards to replace Shaun. Then the sky fell through the roof. Elton Brand sustains an injury that would keep him out for quite some time. The end result has not been all that pretty as the Clippers have sank to the bottom of their division and sport the 5th worst record in the NBA.
Sam fought the good fight and has been a good warrior. Now, with his contract expiring at the end of this season, he sees no purpose in his being here any longer. The Clippers need to rebuild for next year. For Sam, the clock is ticking. He only has only so many more games left in those legs.
Meanwhile, Danny Ainge parlayed one of the worst rosters in the NBA into a powerhouse by trading for two super stars. A roster that is likely headed the NBA finals. Sam, has the opportunity to become a part of that party. So, he is asking for a buyout. If not traded or given a buyout, he will finish his time with the Clippers with a bad taste in his mouth. It is time for him to move on. It is time for the Clippers to move on. We either get players, draft picks, or cap space. Either way, do the deal. Get it done and let Sam go. He is a good guy and deserves no less.
Well said Jamfan. I know that Boston doesn't exactly have that many first rounders (for the next two years I think) because they were traded away, but hey even a first rounder from 2012 + a player to match salary would be okay.