Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Free Agency Fireworks

In case you were wondering, this blogger was in Tahoe for the long Independence Day weekend, without high speed internet access. I will not post via dial-up, dammit!

So now I have a lot of catching up to do, as the early days of free agency have been very active, especially regarding the Clippers. By the way, does anyone else recall the old days of unanswered phone calls from agents, Clippers management sitting around waiting to see what other teams were doing, waiting to (maybe) match offers, or worse still, simply waiting and doing nothing? At least for now, those days are over, and what a refreshing change it is.

In an attempt to work my way through all of this info systematically, I'm going to break things down into several smaller posts. That way, hopefully I can get some stuff out there today.

In a series of moves that only a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable in Clippernation, the Clippers made serious offers to both of their free agents at 12:01 AM ET on July 1 (in other words, it was still June in LA). Sam Cassell was evidently offered a 2 year deal worth either $11M or $12M, while Vladimir Radmanovic was offered the full mid-level exception over the course of 5 years, which worked out to about $31M. Oh, and this is pretty much EXACTLY what this blogger suggested they do at the end of the season, so apparently Sterling has internet access out there in Beverly Hills.

24 hours later, the most important part of the Clippers' offseason business was completed, with Tim Thomas filling the 'forward who can stretch the defense' role in lieu of VladRad, and Cassell in the fold for two more seasons. And let's face facts - these are the two seasons that matter. Progress must be made (bear in mind that only conference finals, conference champ or NBA champ actually qualify as progress) or Sterling may as well go back to low payrolls and high profits.