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Clips Safely Return to NBA Void

Dec 6, 2007 – 5:18 PM
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Tom Ziller

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Two weeks ago, things looked bleak for the Clippers, with Corey Maggette out and Cuttino Mobley limping. Mobley kept playing instead of resting his gnarly groin, with little nothing to show for it, as Clips Nation details. Maggette returned after only one week off; the Clippers, however, have not been able to escape a seven-game losing streak. Since a 4-0 start, LAC has thrown up a 2-11 record... despite Chris Kaman improbably invoking the holy legend of Bob McAdoo this season.

Elgin Baylor is left with a conundrum at this point; the playoffs can be seen only in hallucination, and Elton Brand's latest timetable points to February for a return. Most assume it's unlikely Maggs will be back next season -- it would take a long-term (four or five seasons) offer from the Clippers, and the team can't likely afford the $50ish million without knowing Shaun Livingston's status. But if you shop Maggette and Sam Cassell now, then you get into competition with the Timberwolves for the league's worst record, and I can't imagine you make Brand terribly happy in the process. Tricky situation.

And it's not like you can shop Brand during the season if he's not returning until the trade deadline at the earliest... which leads me to believe Elton might be next summer's Jermaine O'Neal: Too nice/afraid to all-out request/demand a trade; too rational to think his career is best suited for the current employer. Will the Clippers listen to offers for the unquestioned best player?
Filed under: Sports

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