With an expiring contract that has a salary-cap number of $9.15 million, the Los Angeles Clippers' big man might be the most coveted player who could be available as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches. While some teams would take anyone with such an expiring contract that has vital signs, Camby also can play.
"Everybody in the league would want him,'' Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said in an interview with FanHouse. "He's probably the most valuable contract in the league from the standpoint if you're looking to trade for a guy with an expiring contract that has a lot of game. Most teams are trying to give up longer-term contracts for shorter-term contracts, and a lot of times those teams are willing to sacrifice in order to shorten the money. In this case, you wouldn't be sacrificing. That's why everybody wants him.''
"Everybody on our team could be traded,'' Dunleavy said. "But we're not looking to trade him at all.''
Of course, it must be said there has been speculation about Dunleavy's future with the Clippers. So who knows what the landscape will be in two months?
Dunleavy wants Camby, 35, to have the opportunity to play alongside power forward Blake Griffin, the No. 1 draft pick due back in mid-to-late January from a broken left kneecap. He thinks the two, along with center Chris Kaman, could form a special trio in the post.
Camby, averaging 8.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.14 blocks, is in no mood to be moved.
"It's been ongoing for my whole career so it's pretty much basically nothing new for me,'' Camby told FanHouse about rumors of a trade. "It always feels good to be wanted. I haven't requested any trades despite our record (13-17). I know a lot of contenders are probably going to be inquiring about myself. But this is where I want to be at. So hopefully I can finish up here. I like our team.''
Camby, who sat out Sunday night's dramatic 92-90 home win over Boston due to a hyper-extended left knee but anticipates being back very soon, said he's been hearing the rumors about his future.
"Every day [is] something different. I'm going this place or that place,'' said Camby, not giving specifics. "Until it's actually done, that's when I'll believe it.''
If Camby had his way, he would not only finish the season with the Clippers but would re-sign with them next summer. But Camby knows there are no guarantees he will be brought back due to the team being well stocked in the big-man department with Griffin and Kaman, who is averaging 20.0 points and 9.1 rebounds.
"That's the top priority,'' Camby said. "To come back [next season]. My family loves it out here. The kids love school out here. The weather's great. Everybody is in a wait-and-see process to see how the season is going to be. I know Blake is coming back. He's the No. 1 pick and they expect a lot of things from him. And, with the way Chris has been playing, all of that stuff is going to factor.''
If Dunleavy isn't around, that could change plenty as well. There have been rumblings about his job security, but he doesn't sound concerned.
"I look at it like I come to work and do my job every single day,'' Dunleavy said. "I don't worry about any rumors, period. [There's been] no conversation [with owner Donald Sterling]. I'm sure if it gets to the point of where that becomes anything on his mind, I'll talk to him. Whether my team is 19-1 or what, I'm going to do my job every single day. It's not my decision where we go if there's any kind of different direction. But I'm going to give it my best effort every day.''
There has been some recent concern. The Clippers had lost four of five before beating the Celtics in dramatic fashion on a 22-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer by Baron Davis.
Nobody has been panicking on the Clippers. Kaman doesn't want Camby to be dealt.
"I don't want them to trade him,'' Kaman said. "That would be a bad move I think, but obviously I don't own the team and I don't make those decisions. But I would disagree in trading him. But, like I said, I'm not in charge.
"We do well together on the floor. And when Blake comes back, hopefully sooner than later, you know that seems like an even better connection. We've been struggling a little bit, but Marcus does a great job for us.''
Camby ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding. He's fifth in blocked shots.
"I call him Old MC,'' said Clippers big man Brian Skinner, making a play on rapper Young MC, who gave the world Bust a Move. "He's still doing it. He can play until he's 40.''
Camby isn't looking that far ahead. But he knows he wants to keep going for a while.
"I just want to keep playing until I'm still relative,'' Camby said. "I don't want to be like the 11th or 12th man or me being inactive like nine or 10 straight games. If I can contribute, I want to play. If I'm not in the top six- or seven- or eight-man rotation, I'll move on to other things.''
For now, Camby is thinking short term. Such as, where will he be playing when he turns 36 on March 22?
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson