This article was originally published on Hoops4Life.com, a basketball fan's site. I decided that you would enjoy this because, well, you Bleacher Creatures seem to like this kind of stuff.
The Los Angeles Clippers made a move to help shore up their front line after the loss of Elton Brand to the Sixers just a few days ago. They made a trade with the Denver Nuggets to acquire Marcus Camby, a defensive guru at center, giving up only the option for the Nuggets to swap second-round picks in 2010.
Camby has been a reliable player in the paint, and despite being unable to put up big points offensively, he is only a year removed from being named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and has led the NBA in blocks for three consecutive seasons.
Last season, Camby also made his presence known on the boards, leading the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes with 18, and putting 13.1 rebounds per game to go with 9.1 points while averaging 35 minutes—better than any other season in his career.
“I love this acquisition for the current makeup of our team,” Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. “We are getting a consummate pro who is maybe the best team defender in the league, and who has 60 playoff games under his belt.”
Camby was basically shipped in a gift bag to the Clippers, seeing as the Nuggets needed to shed cap space so that they could revamp their roster.
With cheap asking price of the option to swap 2010 second-round picks being basically nothing, the Clippers—who were able to take on the salary of Camby with the departure of Brand—pounced.
The Clippers are now in a spot envied by most teams in the league—they have the choice of playing two centers and creating one of the best defensive front courts in the NBA, or trading the high value of Chris Kaman's breakout year for a pure power forward.
Without any trades, the Clippers are going to have a formidable frontcourt—as well as a formidable backcourt with the newly added Baron Davis and Eric Gordon.
The Nuggets were forced to make this move due to an extremely high payroll, which was fourth in the NBA last season. They paid over $13 million last season in luxury taxes, and got very little return for the cost, as they were sent packing in the first round the past two seasons.
They would have preferred to move one of their other high priced players, like Nene or Kenyon Martin, but there were no suitors for these overpaid, underachieving players.
"Marcus has been an exceptional representative of the Nuggets both on the court and in the Denver community during his time here, and we are greatly appreciative of all he has done," Mark Warkentien, the Nuggets' vice president of basketball operations, said in a statement.
The Nuggets are now likely to go after a free agent for a lower price than Camby, the most likely target being J.R. Smith.
The Clippers are back to being playoff contenders, and the Nuggets are now in rebuilding mode. But we will have to wait till the season starts to see how this move really pans out—or if this is Ben Wallace, part two.
I'm Joe W.