This Al Harrington trade (or lack thereof) has continued to be a thorn in my side even though I try to put it out of my mind.
The general consensus is that the Warriors should get a capable point guard to start now and back up Monta later.
Over the past couple weeks, we have seen Don Nelson experiment with some rather tall mismatches and achieve rather limited success. Offensively, there has not been enough of a presence in the paint to get the shooters the open looks they need. The Warriors are too inconsistent with their field goals, and taking better shots will help with that immensely.
The Warriors are also having trouble with their weak-side help, something that Nelson has been working on with Wright and Randolph in their game minutes.
Now I know that the trade I am about to propose could get laughed out of town. The Clippers and the Warriors may not be inclined to help a competitor—but who are they kidding? What are they competing for?
For some reason, I was looking at Chris Kaman's ESPN profile, and there was a note about a possible trade rumor that was promptly denied. Immediately after that there was an update stating that a New York news source heard that the Clippers were shopping Camby. Something the Clippers have not yet denied.
The Clippers seem comfortable developing their younger big men, rather than deal with a possibly disgruntled veteran. Indeed, only seven games into the season, Camby remarked that the Clippers had found "six different ways to lose." Not to mention that Camby's arrival in Clipperland was far from graceful.
So how about it? A straight-up trade of Harrington for Camby (or something close to it). That would give Al Thornton a legitimate veteran to play alongside at foreward, and someone for the aging, oft-injured Tim Thomas to split minutes with.
If Thomas is on the floor, then Harrington can play the three spot. It would give the Clippers more versatility and options with less risk. This trade would also enable the Clippers to rest their forwards when needed.
The bonus is that Al Harrington has already played with Baron Davis. So they are very familiar on the court. From what I have been hearing Davis is not all that happy with the Clippers' style of play. Harrington can help relieve Baron's thirst for the fast break when it is there so that later they can get the half-court set in gear when it is needed.
Perhaps the best part about this trade for Harrington is that he can't get any closer to his favorite place and home, Las Vegas, and still play in the NBA. If he played in LA, he would be just a short flight or hot drive to the Sin City.
The Warriors would get much more than an alternate center out of Camby. Having Camby would mean the Warriors could afford to take Biedrins out of the game without taking a huge hit on the defensive boards—an area they have been suffering in greatly.
In addition, having Camby would provide Nelson with a plethora of mismatches to unleash on other teams. It also gives the Warriors added help-side defense they need in the paint during crunch time. Camby's inside presence would allow the Warrior's guards to stay out on the perimeter more when they are in their zone. This would effectively give the Warriors more contested shots on defense.
Camby might not be a starter with Biedrins there, but he would be playing a lot of minutes with Nelson's hockey-style substitutions. A spot in Nelson's system wouldn't fit his usual role, but right now Camby is just using his minutes to salvage some pride from the complete 180 that his career just took. He might as well do something productive.
This trade would restore value to both Camby and Harrington's respective careers. Maybe not to what they are getting paid, but certainly in ways that benefit both the teams and the players. I'm not so sure that this trade would work out. We are talking about Robert Rowell and Mike Dunleavy here.
All basketball talk aside, those two names are enough to make just about any deal go sour. I originally thought of this trade as a joke. It started with trading back for Baron, then I was toying with the idea of trading for Kaman (Dunleavy wants to keep him, though), and finally discovered Camby as the odd man out for the Clips.
Strangely enough the Warriors went to free-agent war with the Clippers during the offseason, and now they are in a position where they could potentially help each other get rid of $10 million tumors. Terrible seasons make for strange bedfellows.
Besides, wouldn't it be fun to watch Camby play alongside Biedrins? The Warriors already get the most blocks per game in the NBA with just over seven. Adding Camby would only make the Warriors even more fun to watch, and maybe give Nelson the low-post mismatch he rarely had with Harrington. At the very least he can capably back up Biedrins—another role that Harrington could never competently fulfill.
I am not forgetting about Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf plays excellent defense, gets plenty of rebounds, and is a good passer. However, his shooting is all over the place. There are times where the Warriors have had to play Turiaf and Biedrins at the same time, but lost Biedrins for significant time due to foul trouble. Then Turiaf has to swing over to center, and all of a sudden the Warriors are playing the other team's game.
Having Camby around means that Turiaf (or the next tallest person) does not automatically shift to center when Biedrins is not on the floor. Nelson can enable his schemes (by that, I mean impose his legendary will) more freely when he does not have those personnel restrictions.
Regardless of what happens, at some point the Warriors are just going to have to help themselves. The fans have done everything they can to find Harrington a new home. We'll see what happens.
Next article is about which players face the worst officiating. Hint: My featured player is on my favorite team.