Monday, April 23, 2007

Chris Kaman “has already committed to another intense off-season workout program with (clippers’ assistant coach Kim) Hughes.” This is what he did the summer before 05-06, when he, and the clips, had their breakout season. Last summer he slacked a bit, hanging out with family, moose hunting, whatever the hell, and he had a crap year.

From the same LA Times article:

"We're not trying to teach him to have skill, he already has it, we're just trying to make him make better decisions," Dunleavy said. "As he becomes a better decision-maker, he'll be the guy who averages a double-double for us. He'll be the guy who we're willing to pay the money we're paying, and he's going to be worth it."

According to another LA Times piece, the Clippers are looking to sign Corey Maggette to a multi-year contract extension. He’s currently signed on the for the next two seasons, to be paid $7 million each year (07-08 & 08-09). This is big because Corey was really the only marketable big trade bait that you’d think LA was even halfway considering shopping around. (Kaman had an off year & they seem committed to him, & Elton is basically untouchable, Sam’s too old, no one, obviously, will want Livingston until he’s proven he can play again, etc, etc.).

With the upcoming draft not considered strong for point guards, the Clippers are expected to target shooters and wings who could join the rotation next season. Yaroslav Korolev and Daniel Ewing — the team's Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the 2005 draft - didn't develop as hoped and probably won't return.

No surprise about Korolev, who has pretty much been the biggest bust not named Olowokandi in clipper draft history. (At least big Mike PLAYED for a while.) Not that Bo Kimble brings giant joker smiles to my visage. I still remember hearing that name (Yaroslav Korolev? Really?) on draft day, and being highly perplexed, but trusting jah that Dunleavy & Elgin knew something I didn’t. well, apparently they thought they did, but that nugget of wisdom is still wedged up their okoles. I really don’t know what kind of player korolev is because we’ve NEVER seen him play meaningful minutes. Sad, what a waste. Ship him to Orlando so he can play next to Darko, he probably rules. Oh well.

Ewing, though, I thought he was coming on a bit. But in all actuality, when you can grab a guy like Jason Hart off waivers and he bumps you out of minutes right out the gate, (situation a la knowing Hart's game & the local connection notwithstanding) and in all actuality I was feeling more comfy with Will Conroy running the point than Ewing, well, yup, the writing’s on the wall. In goat’s blood. Sayonara mayne. It can be said that you gave me a million times more wonderful clipper memories than Yaroslav Korolev, which ain’t sayin much, but good job anyway.

From the same article:

Because the Clippers are over the cap, they only have the cap exceptions to sign free agents. They used the biannual exception on backup forward-center Aaron Williams last summer and won't have it this summer, but will have the midlevel exception, which could increase from $5.2 million to about $5.5 million.

Shaun Livingston might sit out next season because of a severe knee injury and fellow point guard Cassell was sidelined often, so the Clippers are expected to spend a portion of the midlevel on a point guard. Since Dunleavy likes long-range shooters, the Clippers could use another piece of the midlevel on a consistent shooter.

The Clippers will be back in the draft lottery. They'll select 14th in the first round unless they get a top-three pick and also have a second-round pick.

The draft is kind of huge. Obviously, as stated above, we need a point guard, cuz Sam Cassell, I mean, I hope the guy comes back better next season, but he can’t be counted on for much anymore. I wonder if they’ll bring Hart back? A lot depends on who they can grab in the draft. If they can get high enough, you gotta love the idea of Acie Law IV outta Texas A&M, but I think he’ll be gone by the time it’s Elgin’s turn to bob for apples, and aside from him, and the kid outta Ohio State (who I’m pretty sure is coming back to school anyway?) who else is there? I wasn’t crazily impressed with the point guard for Texas, either. We’ll see. Maybe there’s some crazy Russian point guard that we can pay 5 million a year to sit on our bench & never watch play.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't make the playoffs, but I believe in our guys," Dunleavy said. "I feel good about our group."

From the OC Register:

"We think we have a group of guys that can get us to where we want to get to," Dunleavy said. "They have to get better. They have to improve. And we think we have the resources to improve our team, as well. We'll be exploring those opportunities throughout the offseason."

AOL's NBA Fanhouse voices come doubts about Maggette's eagerness to reup with LA:

The question here is, would Maggette actually sign an extension with the Clippers? Even though he has owner Donald Sterling's vote of confidence, Corey has struggled to see eye to eye with coach Dunleavy over the past two seasons, resulting in fairly limited playing time until late in the season when Dunleavy was left with few other options.

Maggette can opt-out of his contract after next season and become a free agent, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him go that route instead of locking himself into a long term deal with the Clippers.

Also from AOL’s NBA Fanblog, this is pretty cool, it’s the intro to the first game of the 1979 NBA Season, Lakers at the SAN DIEGO clippers, it’s Magic Johnson’s first game, and features an interview with him (eh, who cares) but more importantly, a short interview with World B. Free as well as a video montage of Bill Walton, prior to the announcement that he’s out for the game with an ankle injury.

Sigh, enough clipper crap for one day. Still caring about a team who's year is done; I feel like a crippled horse limping around the track as the foreman from the glue factory eyes him hungrily yet pontificatously, wondering what might have been had that formerly proud warrior of a stallion not tripped over that inadvertenly left behind pogo stick in the stableyard. Yup, that same old problem of what always happens. Adios for the moment.


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