Looking at the terms of Jason Hart’s two years/$5M contract with Utah, you have to believe that the Clippers would match that and then some if they knew then what they know now – that Hart and his people were taking a very bird-in-hand approach to free agency.

Steve Luhm in the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Thursday that it was “the Jazz's early interest in [Hart] and their willingness to quickly tender a contract offer was critical in [Hart’s] decision to sign with Utah.”  When Jazz VP of B.O. Kevin O’Connor put the offer on the table while the Clippers were courting Steve Francis, Hart jumped on it.  

The Clips gambled but lost.  It’s tough to blame the front office for holding off on Jason Hart while they went hard after Steve Francis.  Who knew that Hart preferred to take less money sooner than wait to see how the Francis sweepstakes would shake out, even knowing that the runners-up would then turn their attention toward his services and start a moderate bidding war?   Considering that Utah has Deron Williams at the starting PG, it’s even more surprising that Hart would jump at the Jazz’s offer so quickly.  But Hart clearly put a premium on Utah’s commitment.  “Hart considered re-signing with the Clippers, among others. But the Jazz's immediate and persistent interest in him translated into an easy decision.”

All that said, it’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that Jason Hart could’ve been had for a mere $2.5M/season over two years.  

*****

Found myself at the Sports Arena last night for a show, which naturally made me think of the Clippers.   No Charles Smith or Gene Shue sightings, though I thought I saw Terry Dehere working with the techies.  The building is a supreme monument to concrete, and I can’t believe that it was an actual NBA venue as recently as ten years ago.  If the Arena were a character from “The Wire,” it would be Bubbles. The structure is without a single malicious quality, endearingly pitiful, covered with a gray gritty film, and it looks like death.  

Meanwhile, a crowd at a Daft Punk concert is a strange amalgamation of type.  You’ve got your teenage candy ravers [or overgrown teenage candy ravers]; then you’ve got the hunter-gatherer music geeks who were either bowled over by Daft Punk’s insane set last year at Coachella, or just students of turntablism.  I had a much better time than I thought I would, probably a product of knowing that I’ve got about three or four years left before I’ll feel completely toolish for being on the floor of a show like that.