Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Marcus Camby is only worth a second-round pick?!

"What the fuck?!"

...is the right answer for a headline like that. After all, we're talking about the NBA's Best Defensive Player just 2 short years ago. And it's not like he got traded for another player of equal caliber like, let's say, Antonio McDyess, or even for a first-round pick, at the least. No, he was traded for a second-round draft pick 2 years from now which, let's face it, is worth nothing - at least right now.

Still, looking at the big picture, the Denver Nuggets had to make a business decision. And unfortunately, Camby had to play the sacrificial lamb to get the team back on track. After all, when you've got two scoring machines in Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony and a post that's manned by one of the league's premier shotblockers in Camby but your team still ended up being swept by the Lakers in the first-round of the playoffs, well...

Fortunately enough for Denver, the LA Clippers were in the market for an affordable yet top-notch big man since Elton Brand jumped shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers, leaving the Clippers with a big hole under the basket, hence the trade. But why Camby? Why not sign up a restricted free agent instead, like Charlote Bobcats' Emeka Okafor? Or Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng? Or, in an eye-for-an-eye scenario, why not the 76ers Andre Iguodala? Because at least with Camby, there's no doubt they'll be getting him, unlike if they play the free agent market, their finances might get tied while they try to broker a deal with no guarantee of signing up any one of them. And a trade still saves them some money as opposed to signing up a free agent with $$$ signs in his eyes, so, yeah, trading for Camby was the wise choice. And with Camby working together with Chris Kaman, the Clippers have a really strong pair of defenders in the lane.

But what about the Nuggets? What do they get for such a big loss like Camby? Well, they managed to free up $20 million for the next 2 seasons which was what was left of Camby's contract, so that's a start, since they now have the salary cap space to shop around with or use to match any offer that might be made for their own restricted free agent in J.R. Smith. And Camby's getting old, too, plus he's got some injury history to boot, so the Nuggets had no other option but to move forward. After all, sentimentality is for pussies. Still, it'll be hard to fill the void Camby left in the Nuggets' rotation, leaving coach George Karl with a headache the size of, well, Camby.

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