Ramona Shelburne of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Randolph deal will be done in short order:
The Clippers have agreed to a trade for New York Knicks forward Zach Randolph in exchange for guard Cuttino Mobley and forward Tim Thomas, a league source told the Daily News Friday afternoon.
Randolph is a dominant low post threat, having averaged 16.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in his eight seasons in the NBA. This season with the Knicks, he’s excelled in new coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, averaging 20.5 points and a career-high 12.5 rebounds.
Mobley is averaging 13.7 points this season, Thomas is averaging 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.
The Clippers have long-admired Randolph’s athleticism and offensive game.
And with the team averaging a paltry 90.9 points a game, better only than three other teams in the league, the Clippers jumped at the chance to acquire him.
They tried to land Randolph in the summer as well, offering the Knicks a similar salary-saving deal they later offered Denver for center Marcus Camby. The Knicks passed on that deal, preferring to hold Randolph for real assets, as opposed to just salary-cap relief.
By acquiring Mobley and Thomas, whose contracts both expire in two seasons, the Knicks better position themselves as players for the wild free agent summer of 2010, when stars like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be free agents.
Randolph’s contract has three years and approximately $48 million remaining on it.
Notice how the Knicks’ motivation here is strategic, while the Clippers’ thinking is purely infantile? The Clips like Randolph’s offensive game. That’s terrific. I like Irish Wolfhounds. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to bring one home to my smallish two-bedroom house where I live alone, travel a lot, and have no fenced-in yard.
For the sake of moderation and rational discussion, let’s be fair. Randolph is a huge talent on the block and a vicious rebounder when he wants to be. If he works himself position down low — and that’s often — he’s automatic with his left. He has also successfully expanded his face-up game to beyond 15-feet. He’s learned to work himself 6 FTAs a game, and can hit them at an 80% clip. In other words, 18 and 10 is not an unreasonable expectation from Randolph, if he starts.
But Randolph is also a black hole in the post, incapable of recognizing or passing out of the double-team. He and Thronton together might be the worst passing starting forward tandem the NBA has seen in years [and I welcome other nominations in the comments section]. Above everything else, Zach Randolph seems to care very little. That’s always the impression I have watching him ball.
If this report is accurate and Randolph is, indeed, on his way to the Clips, it can only mean that the Clippers have a deal in the works to move either Kaman or Camby. Given the term of the contracts, it’s more likely the former.
Either way, the Knicks have found their sucker.