Man, Quentin Richardson must spell his name “H-o-t P-o-t-a-t-o.” The Clips just sent him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, meaning the dude will have been on 4 teams in the last month. That’s crazy. Has a player ever been traded 3 times in such rapid succession and without ever playing a single game? Ooh, I wonder if the poor guy actually searched for places to live in each city and bought a house? Okay, he probably never bought a house in Memphis, ‘cuz who wants to be there long-term, but when he learned he was back in his old stomping grounds of LA, it’s not inconceivable that he looked into buying a nice little villa by the beach. Um, but I guess the point of a basketball blog isn’t to talk about tough real estate situations.
The full trade is actually Q for Sebastian Telfair, Mark Madsen and Craig Smith. Now talent-wise, the Clips definitely got the winning side, but I’m not certain how I feel about it for the Clips. Even though Q’s been more injured the last few years than TMac, Yao, Camby & BDiddy thrown together, I still was kinda looking forward to him coming back as a Clip. And the truth is, the Clippers biggest weak spot is at the swing position, which is what Q plays. In fact, assuming Q could remain healthy (obviously a monumental assumption), I thought he could be a better starter at SF than Al Thornton, ‘cuz Q plays better D and is a better 3-pt shooter who could stretch the D. Then Thornton could’ve come off the bench as the instant offense guy, which would’ve suited him perfectly (although a la Maggette in his last few Clip years, I doubt Al would be too excited to be “demoted” to the bench).
Now we get ‘Bassy Telfair who’s been unexceptional at every stop. Granted, he only needs to be a backup PG here, and he’s solid for that, but I was hoping Mike Taylor could take that position. Of course word is that in the recently finished Vegas Summer League, Taylor sucked donkey eggs. However Taylor showed enough flashes of talent, that I’d rather he get more seasoning than having Bassy who seems to have reached his peak. The other thing about Telfair is that he’s the only one of the traded participants who has a contract past this year. Yes, it’s a player-option, but considering how the free-agent market has looked this summer, it seems likely that he’d opt to stay around for another year since it’d mean he’d be guaranteed $2.7 million.
The real talent though in the trade is Craig Smith. The dude is an undersized 4, but he has a budonkadonk butt and is pretty solid banging down low. I like him a bunch, but the Clips already have enough bigs with Griffin, Camby, Kaman, and up-and-comer DeAndre Jordan (who supposedly wow’ed in Summer League and would’ve likely been a draft pick this year if he hadn’t left early the year before). Yeah, the last 3 bigs pretty much all play center, but Camby has played some PF in the past, and DeAndre’s probably mobile enough to play there now and then too. I’ve heard rumblings that the Clips might play Griffin at the 3 occasionally, and that’d not only help out with the Clips lack of depth there, it’d also free up space at the 4 spot. However with the league moving toward faster, more mobile big men, Blake seems like a much better fit at the 4 rather than having to try to cover 3s like Carmelo, LeBron, Paul Pierce, etc., which I can’t see him being able to do.
The last piece the Clips are getting is Mark Madsen, who hasn’t been useful in years (or debatably ever). However the guy holds a warm spot in my heart from his years on the Lakers when he would hustle like his life depended on it (which maybe it did ‘cuz if he screwed up then Shaq would sit on him). Plus, once I was at Will Rogers State Park back then and I saw this big white dude jogging, and sure enough, it was him. I was amazed ‘cuz there were lots of people around, but as he passed me, he specifically looked at me and nodded a smile hello. It was then I realized it was ‘cuz I was wearing a Kobe jersey (this was before Kobe started raping women and I lost all respect for him). Of course the Mad Dog might not even make the team, but I just wanted an excuse to brag about the intimate moment he and I shared when I was but a young lad. Oh, and back to actual bball points: he also plays the 4, and as stated above, we don’t need another stinkin’ PF.
So I’m torn on this trade. We got back a better player (Smith) than we traded, plus we got a serviceable backup PG (Bassy), but was it worth it? There were rumors that the Clips not only were considering picking up Iverson, but also offering Milwaukee Bucks‘ restricted PG Ramon Sessions a contract, and I would prefer to have either of them than Telfair. Plus, I’d hoped that even if Q couldn’t play a lick, that he’d still bring back that dopey head-pounding thing he and Darius Miles used to do. Oh well, relative to what normally happens in Clipper-land, that’s not too big a disappointment to have to live with.
P.S. By the way, for those who care, I’m back in LA now, so posts should resume appearing regularly once again.