Nuggets trade Camby to Clips:
Oviously, the Los Angeles Clippers needed to make a aquisition to replace the All-Star forward, Elton Brand. And I believe they had rebounded pretty nicely when they traded for Center Marcus Camby, who is also capable of playing the power forward position, being only 6"11, 235 lbs. The Denver Nuggets, in return, only received the option to swap 2nd round picks in the 2010 NBA Draft with the Clippers.
This trade seems to be an attempt to find a replacement for Elton Brand, but at a much cheaper price. In this swap, the Nuggets are hoping to shed some of their salary to create their own financial flexibility. This looks like this possibly could result in a cause-and-effect situation."We felt like we needed to shake things up and do something a little bit radical to be able to create flexibility going forward," Nuggets vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman said in a conference call.
Using the salary cap space they earned by not resigning Elton Brand, the LA Clippers were able to absorb Camby's contract ($10 million over the next two seasons) without surrendering any financial consequence. One important asspect of this deal would be that the Denver Nuggets actually did create a trade exception worth $10.1 million that expires one year from the day of the trade, Tuesday. This trades up approximately $3 million more in cap space to attempt to sign another rotation player to their roster, possibly Matt Barnes.
"I think this is a very good addition for us, especially since we're getting a player who can really help us without having to give up a player in return," general manager Elgin Baylor said. "With him playing alongside [Chris] Kaman, I think we will have a pair of excellent interior defenders and that will make us a formidable team."
The Clippers initially were expected to make a run at restricted free agent forwards Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, and/or Andre Iguodala. But using this process, it makes it less of a risky decision. By going for the restricted free agents, they would be extending a lucrative offer sheet that they would potential give with no guarantee of landing their main target. And although Camby isn't nearly the offensive force Brand was, his his defensive pressence and ability to hit the open shot will make him and Chris Kamen able to coexist greatly. He is coming off probably his career season in which he averaged 9.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game for a Nuggets organization that won 50 games in the competitive Western Conference.
"I love this acquisition for the current makeup of our team," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We are getting a consummate pro who is maybe the best team defender in the league and has 60 playoff games under his belt."
If you look at the Clippers roster, you'd think they were an immediate playoff contender next season. I'm not 100% sure that is the case, but with what the Nuggets and Warriors are doing, this could be a great possibility. But for a Nuggets fan, this seems to be devastating. Now your saying to yourself, "We just gave up our starting center, the only player on our team that plays defesne." Well, this is the true story:
We all know that the Nuggets are preparing to make a big move. The trio of Camby-Anthony-Iverson didn't really work out last year, so they are probably looking to find another #3 option for the Nuggets. This also looks to be a way to match potential offers to restricted free agent J.R. Smith if they choose. One potential deal I think has a possibility of going through is this one: (Add a future 1st round pick to New York)
Nuggets will be willing to deal away forwards Nene and Kenyon Martin because of their heavy contracts, but it looks like they will get some heavy contracts back as well. Both are injury prone though, which will be hard for them to trade both, but I think I might have found a way.
Don't be surprised if the Nuggets make a BIG move sooner or later.....
"It's a fluid situation," he said. "Are we going to continue to look for ways to improve the team? Absolutely. We felt like the right trade came along at the right time. We felt like we needed to strike while the iron was hot. We're not going to make a bad deal ... We're not satisfied with winning 50 games or getting to the playoffs. Our goal is to win a championship. We felt like we needed to shake things up and be able to have flexibility going forward to put a championship team on the court."
"Marcus has been an exceptional representative of the Nuggets both on the court and in the Denver community during his time here and we are greatly appreciative of all he has done," Mark Warkentien, the Nuggets' vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
Also in free agency:
Forward James Posey has agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal with the New Orleans Hornets
The New York Knicks sign guard Anthony Roberson to a two-year deal for a little more than $1.6 million.
The Boston Celtics signed free agent center Patrick O'Bryant.
The Cleveland Cavaliers sign guard Daniel Gibson to a five-year contract.
The Orlando Magic signed veteran free-agent guard Anthony Johnson.