Surprises and Mini-Rivalries brewing!!
When Baron Davis opted out of his contract with the Warriors, the NBA was stunned and it immediately changed the landscape of the upcoming offseason. Soon there after, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette both opted out from their contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers setting up a decent crop of free agents, while also adding a few players to the list of teams with cap space this Summer. The Grizzlies, Sixers, Warriors, and Clippers were all now geared up to be the major players in the offseason.
To recap, there have been 3 significant moves so far in free agency.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed PG Baron Davis to a 5 yr - $65 Mil
The Philadelphia 76ers signed PF Elton Brand to a 5 yr - $82 Mil
The Golden State Warriors signed SF Corey Maggette to a 5 yr - $50 Mil
Soon after Baron aka B Diddy opted out of his contract, the Clippers thought they had made a big enough splash to not only retain Maggette and Brand, but to also become an instant contender in the West. With a starting 5 of Baron, Maggette, Thorton, Brand, and Kaman, that is a pretty legit lineup. Soon thereafter Brand decided to sign with the 76ers.
Even with Brand leaving, I still like the move by the Clips and it shows that they are ready and willing to spend the big bucks. I do not entirely blame the Clippers for Brand leaving, I feel that was more on Elton and his agent. Baron Davis gives the Clippers the true point guard they need to run a fast break offense and also impose his will at any point during a game. He will instantly make Kaman better, and also youngsters Thorton and Eric Gordon.
As a Sixer fan however, I am absolutely elated to have Elton Brand coming to Philly. A lot of people in town are doubting him and calling him the next Chris Webber (a busted trade that did not sit well with fans), but Brand is the perfect fit for a team who was exposed in the playoffs for not having a lost-post presence who can score in quantities, um hello Elton Brand fits that description. The Brand signing will significantly help Dalembert develop even further and become a better player. Also, Andre Miller and Brand have played together before with the Clippers and that year Brand was an All-Star. I don't think this move will make the Sixers the East favorites this year, but assuming everyone stays healthy they should be a top 4 seed in next year's playoffs.
Understandably, Clipper coach Mike Dunleavy was a bit ticked off by the recent events of the Brand situation and sounded off with displeasure on 710 ESPN in LA with the Mason and Ireland Show. This interview can be heard at their website on July 10th.
What do you think of the moves and the Brand/LA/Baron situation?