Clippers Acquire Former UMass Star Marcus Camby From Nuggets
July 16, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Clippers acquired center Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday for the option to exchange second-round picks with Los Angeles in 2010.
Camby led the NBA in blocked shots with 3.61 per game last season, only the second player in league history to do so in three straight seasons.
He averaged 9.1 points and 13.1 rebounds playing a career-best 34.9 minutes per game for the Nuggets. Camby was the league's defensive player of the year in 2006-07.
He played the last six seasons in Denver after four years with the New York Knicks.
Camby is the second big-name player to land with the Clippers in less than a week. Baron Davis left Golden State to sign with his hometown team last Thursday on the heels of Elton Brand and leading scorer Corey Maggette departing as free agents.
Brand bolted to Philadelphia, while Maggette went to the Warriors. Davis signed a five-year deal worth $65 million.
The loss of Brand opened up the possibility of moving Camby to the Clippers.
"We felt like we needed to shake things up and do something a little bit radical to be able to create flexibility going forward," Nuggets vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman said in a conference call.
Camby will be counted on to help replace the 20 points and 10 rebounds that Brand has averaged from the power forward spot in his nine-year career. Camby will join center Chris Kaman, who had by far his best season, but was limited to 56 games by several injuries.
"I love this acquisition for the current makeup of our team," Clippers 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 comes to a team that finished 23-59 last season -- their worst record in eight years.
"I think this is a very good addition for us, especially since we're getting a player who can really help us without having to give up a player in return," general manager Elgin Baylor said. "With him playing alongside Kaman, I think we will have a pair of excellent interior defenders and that will make us a formidable team."
The Nuggets will receive a $10 million trade exception due to the deal. It can be used for up to a year from the day the trade is completed.
"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.
Denver traded its first-round pick in last month's draft to the Charlotte Bobcats for a future, protected first-round selection. Warkentien said that deal, along with the trade exception, gives the Nuggets flexibility in the future.
"It's not a checkers move. It's a chess move," said Warkentien, who acknowledged the Nuggets are still a luxury tax team even with the move. "Chess is a tougher game to understand, you've got to wait longer to see the results of the move."
Chapman didn't rule out the possibility of another move being made before the start of the season.
"It's a fluid situation," he said. "Are we going to continue to look for ways to improve the team? Absolutely. We felt like the right trade came along at the right time. We felt like we needed to strike while the iron was hot. We're not going to make a bad deal ... We're not satisfied with winning 50 games or getting to the playoffs. Our goal is to win a championship. We felt like we needed to shake things up and be able to have flexibility going forward to put a championship team on the court."
The Clippers also signed their second-round draft picks Tuesday.
Center DeAndre Jordan and guard Mike Taylor are both playing with the Clippers' entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Jordan, selected 35th overall, is averaging 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. Taylor, the 55th overall pick, is averaging 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He was acquired by the Clippers on draft night from Portland in exchange for a second-round pick in next year's draft.
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