1. Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
As predictable as offseason Brett Favre un-retirement rumors. I won't love it until the Clips deal either Randolph, Camby, or Kaman. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
Clippers re-sign C Brian Skinner
Clippers re-sign F Steve Novak
Italian Team signs G Alex Acker
Clippers cut C/F Mark Madsen
Clippers acquire SG Rasual Butler from Hornets for conditional 2nd-rounder
Clippers cut PG Mike Taylor
Clippers acquire C Mark Madsen, PF Craig Smith and PG Sebastian Telfair from Timberwolves for SG Quentin Richardson
Grizzlies acquire PF Zach Randolph from Clippers for SG Quentin Richardson
2008-09 Season Summary:
The Clippers were the most depressing team in the NBA last season. After signing Baron Davis away from Golden State on the first day of free agency last summer everything has been downhill. Elton Brand basically double crossed the team and Davis as he bolted for Philly. They traded for the terrible contracts of Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph and never won more than 5 games in any month of the season. Davis had his worst statistical season since his second year and only led the team in scoring 9 times all year. Basically, it was an all too familiar season in Clipperland.
2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Chris Kaman/Marcus Camby/Brian Skinner
PF: Blake Griffin/Craig Smith/DeAndre Jordan
SF: Al Thornton/Steve Novak
SG: Eric Gordon/Rasual Butler/Mardy Collins
PG: Baron Davis/Sebastian Telfair
NBA Free Agents:
SG Fred Jones (UFA)
SG Ricky Davis (PO)
2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $56.7 million
2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. A New Training Staff - Other than the fact that the Clippers are a flailing organization with no real direction, the team was absolutely slaughtered by injuries all season long. Rookie Eric Gordon was the only player to miss less than 10 games due to injury and only 4 players on the roster missed less than 20 games due to injury. Not a great track record at keeping your million dollar investments on the court.
2. A New Playing Style - It was obvious that Baron Davis and Mike Dunleavy ideas of offense did not mesh last season. Davis was extremely successful running Don Nelson's wide open running offense but in Dunleavy's structured offensive sets he struggled to his second lowest scoring total since he became a starter. If the Clippers want to succeed with the player that you still owe $54 million over the next four seasons, you might want to think about adhering to what works best for him.
3. A Backup Point Guard - Baron Davis isn't exactly the picture of health. If he is out of the game the Clippers are either putting the ball in Mardy Collins' or Mike Taylor's hands. Neither strikes fear into the hearts of any other team's sixth player off the bench. And you never know, maybe the acquisition of a more talented point guard would push Davis and make him want to play at a higher level.
I would bet 10 units on both the Packers and Patriots, and then 5 units on the Packers in the Super Bowl. The Packers will obviously blow out the Falcons and Tom Brady is the best QB of all time. They've both won 7 consecutive games (Rodgers and Brady) and they are both unstoppable. Rodgers will obviously throw a touchdown in the final seconds to win the Super Bowl. I would bet a million dollars that this will happen.
So Big Ben, who has struggled all year on the road despite the competition and is banged up, is just going to magically find his groove and torch us? Anything's possible, but using the Seahawks game, which was ages ago and came shortly after we had to adjust after the Jamie Collins trade, is pretty dumb on your part.