It’s not official yet, but let’s take a look at the trade as it stands now and break down the pros and cons of the deal.
- Money. First and foremost, that’s what this trade is all about. We’re not sure how much the Clippers will receive in the deal, but that’s likely the prime motivator behind it.
- Player Development. DeAndre Jordan needs floor time and consistent minutes to grow, and he’ll get that with Marcus Camby’s 31 minutes per game going by the wayside. At the very least, DeAndre can further showcase his potential and increase his trade value around the league.
- Politics. When Sebastian Telfair eventually returns from injury, it would look peculiar if Bobby Brown were getting minutes over him. Steve Blake, while not a world-beater, is a serviceable point guard who has shown he’s deserving of NBA minutes. Essentially, Steve Blake allows Kim Hughes to sufficiently bury Sebastian Telfair. Remember, Telfair’s contract has a player option next year, meaning it’s up to him whether he stays or goes. Think he’ll be more inclined to leave if he doesn’t see any burn for the rest of the season?
- More Politics. Marcus Camby is apparently upset with the news, but that will likely change once he’s logging playoff minutes for the wonderful fans in Portland. Ultimately, it makes the Clippers look good as an organization because they’re letting a veteran chase a ring. I’m not saying Kevin Pritchard “owes” Dunleavy one after this, but it’s not a bad idea to get on the good side of one of the more active GM’s in the league.
- A Free Look. No one thinks Travis Outlaw is the long term answer at Small Forward, but if he impresses and the Clippers strike out in free agency, who knows what can happen? There was essentially no way that Marcus Camby was being retained this Summer, with that likely being a mutual decision between player and team. Could Outlaw or Blake come back next year? It’s not likely, but it’s not improbable either.
- Bird Rights. The Clippers can now go over the cap to retain Outlaw or Blake next season without being charged luxury tax. What are the chances a Donald Sterling owned team goes over the cap ever, especially in this economy? Pretty slim. If it does happen though, you could do worse than filling out your bench with Outlaw and/or Blake. Although the Clippers had Bird Rights with Camby, the team likely would have renounced him (and the rights) so they could have the space cleared to make offers to other free agents.
- The Haul. Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake, and cash savings are probably not what Clippers’ fans had in mind for Marcus Camby. As one of the more attractive players and contracts on the trade market, you’d expect the return could have been more substantial. If there were no available trades for big pieces, it seems the Clippers could have at least picked up some draft picks in a deal, even though a first round pick does equal another guaranteed contract. Basically, this trade implies that cash has a higher value than draft picks, which may be tough for some to swallow.
- Chemistry. By all accounts, Marcus Camby was the “big brother” for a lot of these guys, and there have already been some reported grumblings in the locker room about Camby being moved. This season is shot, but finishing with some positive momentum may have helped aid the reloading process next year.
- On Court. It’s tough to tell the effect Outlaw and Blake will have, but one thing we do know for certain is that the Clippers were a much, much worse team with Marcus Camby off the floor. From strictly a basketball standpoint, the Clippers appeared to have downgraded quite a bit. In some ways, that could be listed as a pro…if you catch my drift.
- Timing. This deal, or one similar to it, would have likely been available for the Clippers come Wednesday. Why move before any of the other pieces had fallen? Was this rushed, or does Dunleavy have more moves in mind other than just this one?
- Lateral Movement. By not including Sebastian Telfair or Al Thornton in this deal the Clippers remain incapable of offering a max-contract this offseason. Their best shot at pawning off one of those undesirable contracts to get further under the cap? Marcus Camby.
- Market Value. We’ll see how the trade market plays out, but it certainly feels as if the demand for Camby should have been a bit higher. The Clippers acquired no future assets outside of cash in this deal, which isn’t exactly the ideal return for one of the league’s best rebounders and defenders.
There are still a lot of unknowns, but your initial opinion of this proposed trade likely hinges on something we’ll never know: Could the Clippers have received more for Marcus Camby?