It is a bit of a surprise, and somewhat disappointing, to see Grant Hill pick the Los Angeles Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers. We don't know the financial ramifications of the agreement that Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday, but whatever the impetus the soon-to-be 40-year-old small forward will be adding his talents to a Clippers team that went into this offseason badly needing depth at the wing, and came away with Hill, Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom.
None of these acquisitions could pan out. Odom was one of the NBA's worst rotation players last season, Hill will be 40 by opening night, and Crawford shot 38 percent last season in a career that has seen him nail just 40.8 percent of his shots from the floor. Each of these players' significant gifts could meld into something special, assuming the bodies stay healthy and shots are on point, and if the Clipper coaching staff develops a way to mold all three (plus Caron Butler, and potentially Chauncey Billups when he returns from his Achilles injury) into a game-shifting outfit. Provided the proper coaching is there, of course. Winky-face.
There is still a chance that these three fade. Which is why we were hoping for a safer, super-team'ish selection which would see Hill heading across the hall to play with the Lakers. The Clippers, a second-round team just like the Lakers in 2012, aren't a bad consolation prize. It just would have been nice to see Hill added to that other litany of stars.
Hill left Phoenix for Los Angeles, but new Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo straight up spurned the Suns as they attempted to rebuild, just a few days after the New Orleans Hornets matched Phoenix's offer to restricted free agent Eric Gordon.
Mayo is an odd case. His gifts and build pegged him as the next great star to be as he entered his first paying gig at the University of Southern California, and though he wasn't a complete wash after being traded to Memphis before his rookie season, he hasn't exactly turned into an All-Star quality shooting guard along the way, either.
The Dallas Mavericks don't care. In the midst of what I think is a pretty sound little offseason run, if we decline to consider those that turned the team down, the Mavs are bringing Mayo in to shore up that position, hoping that his all-around skills flourish in a Rick Carlisle offense that tends to reward such things. No, Mayo was never going to turn into the spot reserve point guard the Memphis Grizzlies tried him as for spells during summer league action and last season, but it's a good breakup — Mayo was constantly involved in trade talks, nearly sent to the Pacers twice, and never seemed to find a consistent groove.
Dallas will be getting a guard that has averaged over 15 points per game in under 33 minutes a contest during his four-year career, someone who won't turn 25 until a week into the 2012-13 season, and a player looking to stick it to his former employer. Nothing but good things can come of this.
We hope the same becomes true in Los Angeles, as well.
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