- Ramona Shelburne posts a smart distillation of the Brand drama. The before-the-jump tease:
“At the time Elton opted out of his contract on June 30, his intention was to return to the Clippers. He and David Falk said it multiple times.His intention was so strong, he spent the next day or two helping to court Baron Davis to sign with the Clippers. Davis, the third player in this dramatic triad, decided to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Warriors at the 11th hour, when it became clear the Warriors would not give him an extension. Subsequent reports out of the Bay Area indicate the Warriors had offered Baron and extension, then pulled it back.Needless to say, when Baron opted out of his contract, everything changed.Udrih was no longer the primary target. Davis was, and Brand had several conversations with him trying to woo him.One problem: The Clippers had approximately $27 million in salary cap space. If Brand wanted $15 million a season, that left only $12 million for Udrih/Davis/Maggette. Maggette wanted $10 or $11 million, Udrih was looking for a full mid-level exception deal (approximately $5.5 million a season), Davis’ market value was somewhere in the $12-$15 million a season range as well.The question was: would any of those players settle for less to be together?
Very quickly, it appeared Brand and Davis had worked it out amongst themselves. Brand verbally agreeing to take $14 million a season (five years, $70 million) Baron agreeing to $13 million a season (five years, $65 million).”
- Asked by Lisa Dillman of the LAT about facing Elton Brand on the court tonight in Philadelphia, Baron replies, “”I’ve got nothing to say to him”: “Davis hasn’t spoken to Brand, and said he doesn’t plan to do so, because the former Clipper recruited Davis to come join him in Los Angeles and then Brand did a quick cut and run, heading East for a bigger bag of money, a five-year deal worth almost $80 million.”
- The AP finds that Tim Thomas’ grievances with Brand end with the Saturday home listings: “‘No hard feelings. I’m mad at Elton because he didn’t buy my house,’ said smiling Clippers forward and former Villanova standout Tim Thomas. ‘That’s about it. This is a business. Elton made a decision to play back East, closer to home. That’s about it. You can’t be mad at him.’”
- Brand tells The Philadelphia Inquirer he’s more concerned about the Sixers’ 5-6 record than any reunion with the Clippers.
- The most interesting question — and one being asked only by a few cranky Sixers fans — is whether the 29-year-old Elton Brand will justify his $82 million contract over the next five years.
- UPDATE: Alan Hahn, who blogs on the Knicks for Newsday, reports:“The Knicks, Warriors and Clippers are talking about a three-way deal that would involve Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins being sent in a cap-space clearing move that would bring in Tim Thomas, Cuttino Mobley and Al Harrington. The contracts on all three incoming players expire in 2010. Trying to confirm this now.”Discuss.
- UPDATE: Frank Isola reports, “Unless another player is thrown into the trade, there is a possibility that the Knicks will recruit a third team to make the Randolph deal work. The Clippers are still hoping to acquire Randolph for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley.”
Question: Why would the Clippers be eager to take on a massive contract that runs through 2011 at a position where they’re well-situated through 2010?