Yesterday, John Hollinger woke us up to an unsettling reality: It’s entirely possible that Elton Brand won’t be in a Clippers uniform 15 months from now when 2008 training camp begins.  

We’ve discussed at length the fate of Corey Maggette as a pending free agent next summer.  Will he be traded before the expiration of his contract?  Will the Clippers hold on to him because he’s one of the best bargains in the game?  Is there any chance to re-sign him before his contract is up?  While we don’t know the answer to any of these questions, we’ve certainly been discussing them.   

Elton’s situation, on the other hand, has been entirely sublimated by the Naçion.  I think I speak for most of us when I say that I’ve always been under the assumption that Elgin Baylor was going to quietly take care of this.  One day, I’d pad out to the driveway, open the LAT, and there, below the fold on the front page of the sports section beside a hopelessly earnest Plaschke rant, will be news of a five year, $80M extension for EB.  We have nothing to worry about because these are the new Clippers, last season’s disappointment notwithstanding.  Right?  

Maybe it’s just the mentality of an abused dog who winces at the mere approach of his master, but I can’t help fear an atavistic return to the dysfunction of years past, particularly if the Clips don’t do much this season to persuade DTS to keep the shekels flowing.