AUSTIN TX -- Clipperblog is through examining the tea leaves.  I’m willing to ascribe Brand’s decision to sign with Philadelphia as a confluence of factors – all of which are now in plain view.  Maybe it’s incuriosity or boredom – or the fact that Clipperblog is on vacation away from the hermetically sealed Los Angeles media chamber --  but divvying up blame in its appropriate servings seems silly.  

Whether Brand’s decision was something the Clippers could control is debatable.  But they fully control how they’ll address Brand’s departure.  The Clippers have a sizable chunk of cap space and how they use it will very much foretell the team’s health going forward.  

Trading for Zach Randolph and the three years and $48M remaining on his contract seems absurd. If the Clippers could unload Tim Thomas in the exchange, then the deal goes from absurd to merely problematic.  When you’re of the opinion that “winning” and “chemistry” are overrated attributes in producing victories, it’s always difficult dismissing a player on the basis of those deficiencies.  But having watched Randolph’s formidable offensive game in the post, I feel confident in suggesting that Zach Randolph, while a sick talent, would be detrimental to the organization’s near and long-term future.  Imagine Brand’s most glaring weakness [passing out of the double-team], and throw an exponent on it.  But that flaw in Randolph’s game can even begin to describe his apathy on the defensive end.  Some players can’t play defense – though for no lack of effort (Sam Cassell).  Some players merely can’t be bothered (Stephon Marbury).  Randolph seems to wed a lack of skill and effort.  

A much more interesting course – one reported by Marc Stein in his weekend chatter roundup – is the Clippers acquiring Rasheed Wallace (1 year, $13.68M remaining).  It wouldn’t be a long-term fix, but that’s precisely the point.  It would address the Clippers’ hole at PF and would do it without hampering their cap flexibility. Wallace is a smart inside-out player who provides stellar help defense.  A Davis/Wallace S/R could be potent – provided Wallace wanted to be the Clippers.