Latest chatter: A.I., Odom and others
By Marc Stein – ESPN.com
You will inevitably question why the Clippers are chasing Allen Iverson
and how they plan to fit him into their backcourt rotation when they
already have Baron Davis and Eric Gordon.
Answer: Selling tickets is a huge part of it, just like in Memphis with the Grizzlies’ interest in AI.
Turns out that winning the draft lottery and the right to select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick didn’t exactly cause lines — or even one line — to form outside of the Clippers’ ticket offices. Factor in the decline in season-ticket renewals that the Clippers, like so many other teams, are facing and the benefits of a one-year stimulus package — before L.A. comes into a mess of salary-cap space thanks to Memphis’ willingness to trade for Zach Randolph — start to make things clearer.
The Phoenix Suns are yet another Western Conference rival that would happily volunteer to furnish Odom with a new home via sign-and-trade if they (A) had the pieces or payroll flexibility like Dallas to make a realistic proposal or (B) really thought the Lakers were prepared to part with him and reunite Odom with longtime admirer Alvin Gentry.
The early sense I get is that the Mavericks have little interest in using their midlevel exception — which is back in their possession after Orlando confirmed its intention to match a five-year, $34 million offer to Gortat — to play the restricted free-agent game again with Boston’s Glen Davis.