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For once, the Clippers are being fiscally responsible and thinking forward.
This move gives the team a TON of cap flexibility in 2012, and possibly even next season.
HoopsHype.com has an excellent salary grid that tallies team payrolls and itemizes them by player. The Clipper breakdown shows that next year's team will decrease in payroll by $8 million from this year, down to $44 mil.
It gets better.
If Mo Williams, one of the players the Clips just acquired, opts out of his contract in either of the next two offseasons (very likely in my opinion), the Clippers will be down to $36 million next season or about $15 million the year after. The players under team control in that second year of $15 million? Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ryan Gomes.
Remarkably, the Clippers will be able to shed nearly $40 million off their cap in two years without losing one player that is important to their future, unless you count the upstart DeAndre Jordan.
The team has clearly positioned itself to be an attractive free agency spot in 2012-13 for the first time ever.
This list from RealGM.com highlights the projected free agents in the Summer of 2012. Some of the biggest names are:
Derrick Rose, Jason Terry, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Nene Hilario, Roy Hibbert, Courtney Lee, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, David West, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash and more impact players.
The Clipper salary breakdown should be an encouragement to fans looking for a shred of optimism. A lot of that future flexibility wasn't possible yesterday when Davis contract was still on the books.