Thursday, April 22, 2010

How I would save the Clippers

News broke that the Clippers are not paying fired GM/Coach Mike Dunleavy the money he is owed on his contract. I flippantly remarked that if the Clippers are that desperate for money, that I'd do the job for free. I did give it some thought, however, and decided these would be the five steps I'd take to return the Clippers to relevance, and at the very least, mediocrity (which is music to any Clipper fans' ears).


1. Trade Chris Kaman while his value is at an all-time high, and institute a running style.

Actually, this should have been done the minute he made the all-star team last season. His numbers were a huge fluke (padded by how many shots he took) and he will never repeat them on a winning team. His IQ is terrible on both ends, and the sooner they can get another player of value, the better. Blake Griffin will cut into Kaman's value immensely, and is a much better fit with Baron Davis. Kaman makes 23.5 million over the next two seasons, so his contract shouldn't be too big of an obstacle. A straight swap for Tyson Chandler might make sense for both parties.

More creative proposal: Kaman (2 yrs, 23M) for Stephen Jackson (3 yrs, 27.8M) & Nazr Mohammed (1 yr, 6.9M). Jax is re-united with Davis while Charlotte picks up a post player and saves some money.

2. Surround B-Diddy and B-Griffy with more shooters/athletes who compliment their athletic running style.

Eric Gordon is fine - you can equate him to a young Monta Ellis with 3pt range. But SF needs improvement. Travis Outlaw must be re-signed as he fits in well as the backup SF/PF, and should be better when fully healthy next season. I'm not sure I'd run with Rasual Butler again next season. Quentin Richardson will be a free agent and could be looking for a new home. Either way, the Clippers have five free agents to re-sign or replace (backup PG, backup SG, starting SF, backup SF, backup PF).

3. Re-sign Steve Blake.

Blake compliments Davis pretty well as a backup - of course, there's no shortage of other backups in the FA class if he decides to sign elsewhere. Blake is still the best available fit, and the only alternative I can think of would be Jason Williams, who isn't really an option since he decided he'd rather retire than play for the Clippers two years ago. Chris Duhon, perhaps?

4. Sign Rudy Gay to an absurd offer financial offer and wait for Memphis to match.

This is a win-win situation, as Gay fits with a running team very well, and is young enough to possibly be worth the money down the line. If Memphis matches, they're handcuffing themselves into a team that already missed the playoffs despite excellent health throughout the year.

4B. Sign David Lee. (both might be possible, I'm not familiar with LA's cap situation)

LOL at me now, but who else do you think will take the Clippers money? Bosh and Amare will not sign with the Clippers over Miami, NY, or their own respective teams. Start Lee at center and you have one of the league's most athletic frontlines, and a player whose proven he's an all-star in an uptempo system. Blake Griffin is actually a bit bigger than Lee at 6'10" and 250 lbs, and will also have DeAndre Jordan (6'11" and 250 and most importantly, a shotblocker) backing him up

5. Hire Mark Jackson to coach.

Better snatch him up before he joins the Nets. Jax has a solid repore with players and won't exactly need to be a masterful tactician on a running team... he's certainly a better fit than defensive minded guys like Avery or JVG... who are too reputable/smart to take a job with a low-class organization like the Clippers.

5B. Hire Larry Brown to coach, and have him teach me everything he knows.

That way when Brown moves on a year from now, I can begin my reign as GM/Coach. All kidding aside...


My projected lineup would be...

PG: Baron Davis (81), Steve Blake (65)
SG: Eric Gordon (72), Mardy Collins (62)
SF: Rudy Gay (76), Rasual Butler (65)
PF: Blake Griffin (77), Al Harrington (74)
C: Tyson Chandler (70), DeAndre Jordan (61)

My alternate lineup would be...

PG: Baron Davis (81), Steve Blake (65)
SG: Eric Gordon (72), Mardy Collins (62)
SF: Stephen Jackson (79), Rasual Butler (65)
PF: Blake Griffin (77), DeAndre Jordan (61)
C: David Lee (80), Nazr Mohammed (71)

Both are an improvement over last season's team, which was...

PG: Baron Davis (81), Steve Blake (65)
SG: Eric Gordon (72), Mardy Collins (62)
SF: Rasual Butler (65), Travis Outlaw (71)
PF: Drew Gooden (70), Craig Smith (70)
C: Chris Kaman (75), DeAndre Jordan (61)


So am I the town loon or what? What would you do to improve the Clippers?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they sign Larry Brown, he isn't going to play rookies. Remember he gave Shawn Marion, and Lamar Odom minutes over LeBron in the Olympics.

Rashidi said...

The Clippers would only have two rookies - Blake Griffin, and whichever high lottery pick they end up with. I don't think even Brown could bench the #1 overall pick.

I can't foresee anyone WANTING to take the Clippers job just to bench Blake Griffin.

Besides, coaching an olympic team ain't exactly the same as coaching the Clippers.

D Pizzle said...

I'd be interested in hearing how you'd fix the Mavericks? Im thinking give it 1 more year with Haywood at center and Damp gone, and then if they can't do it trade Dirk finally.

Oh and would you start Haywood over Damp now and give him starters minutes? I'm sick of Damp getting burn at C just because he's familiar with Duncan, Haywood is a better C regardless of experience. And he can play 30 minutes without being exhausted the rest of the week.

Rashidi said...

Dampier is a better post defender than Haywood. Haywood is a better shotblocker and team defender, but that doesn't help when Duncan is posting up 20 times per game on offense.

Rashidi said...

...What about the Mavericks needs fixing anyway? They just made a mid-season trade and have won 50+ games the entire decade. They have a solid starting core that is locked up for the next two years. Not to mention 9 out of 13 players have contracts for next season.

I'd give Dampier priority over Haywood, because I think Haywood's going to get a big contract from someone and he was only a backup in Dallas. Damp will be cheaper and a lot more willing to sign a 1-2 year deal. If Cuban wants to splurge and bring back Haywood, great. They could bring back Drew Gooden since he wasn't a bad fit.

Aside from the centers, Eduardo Najera and Tim Thomas (out for year w/ personal reasons) are the only other free agents. Najera can be brought back at the vet's minimum, while Thomas probably isn't coming back to the league.

They could bring back James Singleton or even DJ Mbenga. In any event we're talking about the 12th man so it doesn't matter too much in the grand scheme.

Shelb said...

Sounds like a good plan, but I don't know how serious a team the Clippers are ever going to be with a cheap owner who only cares if he makes a profit, no matter how small, over a winning team. I'd trade Kaman in a second though.

About the Mavs... they won't ever really need fixing with Cuban as owner. He puts the team ahead of his money always and will always make trades and sign players if it improves the team. They may not win a title with the team they have, but the team can go far every year as long as Dirk keeps up his quality of play.

Anonymous said...

If I were the clippers, I would try to do a sign and trade for an actual shooting guard. For example James Hayden, or build the frontcourt better. Try to get Troy Murphy.

Noah said...

Using your ideas:

Chris Kaman for Washington Power forward Andray Blatche. This gives us the versatility and to decrease the average age of our team. That way with Blake Griffin we can become the Oklahoma City Thunder by next season.

Also the team needs to release Drew Gooden.

Get Kyle Korver or Jason Kapono:
Again you want shooters? I suggest trading draft picks for them and a filler and possibly some cash. That way they get the best three point shooters in NBA history if i believe (Korver was hovering around 55% and Kapono once broke the record for three point shooting).

Get at least one mentor.

Michael Finley can fill the void and become the shooting coach of the team if he decides to retire.

Do not attempt to fish for a FA, not this offseason.

Build it slightly first, then try to nab Carmelo Anthony. A Melo/Griffin/Davis tandem could be a potential dynasty. Especially if they bring in the shooters.

Clippers Drafting.

This could potentially turn Clippers into Portland 2.0. If they get John Wall, great, however I suggest aiming for a European prospect or hope Gordon Haywood from Butler declares. He's got aggressiveness that Adam Morrison lacks, and he has the same shooting touch. He may be tall and lanky, but the Clippers as you said need a versatile SF.

Coaching Change.

With Mike Dunlevey gone, I would get Lawerence Frank. You yourself Rashidi have described him to be a basketball mastermind. He had the Nets 12th best in the league in defense when they had a crap lineup. If that idiot Sterling isn't too stingy, they should be looking to pick him up.

Trades (again).

Try to buff trades for more draft picks. This is potentially risky (Kevin McHale) but it could easily gain a lot of rewards too.

OJ Mayo in becoming the franchise player... or sixth Men.

With Blake Griffin back, the Clippers should adopt a San Antonio strategy. With the athleticism and game-winning blocks and defensive prowess that Blake Griffin possesses to anchor a team defense. OJ Mayo should come off the bench. A Manu Ginobli role. This should happen if the European prospect doesn't fly.

Renew interest into the team.

Charge less for ticket prices, try to get Nationally televised TV games. This increase the revenue dramatically and should allow a spike in ticket prices come playoff time.

Anonymous said...

Noah,

Something like that shouldn't happen. The idea is to get more athletic. Shooters are useless. Look at the LA LAKERS. No shooters whatsoever.

Rashidi said...

Noah,

Kaman for Blatche would never happen because Blatche is the best bargain in the entire league. He only makes 3 million dollars next season, and 7 million over the next 2 seasons. That dwarfs the 11 million Kaman pulls in next season alone (not to mention the 23 million he's due over the next two seasons). Blatche more likely to be the better player two years from now as well.

Drew Gooden is a free agent and they wouldn't need to release him. Korver is a free agent and they wouldn't need to trade for him.

The Clippers are never going to attract a superstar FA like Melo. They're the Clippers. That's why they have to settle for next tier guys like David Lee. There's a reason why Baron Davis was the biggest contract they ever handed out in free agency, and it's not because the Donald is cheap.

Last time the Clippers drafted a Euro they got SF Yaroslav Korolev. They're not drafting any Euros anytime soon.

I don't think Lawrence Frank would be interested in the position, and while he's a great defensive coach, his offensive style doesn't fit what this team should be going for. Frank did start Jason Collins at PF for a year, after all. The Clippers are a little too young without many veterans or a high understanding of defense. It's a stark contrast from the vets he got to work with in New Jersey (don't forget Frank was the league's youngest coach until Erik Spoelstra came along). He might be a good coach but he's probably not the best guy for the job even if he wanted it.

O.J. Mayo is too young and promising to be stuck in a sixth man role. Ginobili was 30 years old without any ego when he made the switch. A player trying to make his place in the league (and secure a big contract) is not going to settle for a role like that... plus I don't believe he or Gordon are versatile enough to run point for a running team. When are these guys gonna play on the court together? Getting Mayo only makes sense if you're giving up Gordon in the same deal.

Ticket prices and national games aren't the GM's department. The only way to get more national games is to win more games.

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Where is your God now? Roy is back!