Answers Part II

Question: What is the deal with Tim Thomas? When will he return? Seems like he’s always having groin or back problems. I think he is one who will really benefit from having Baron man the point, as witnessed in the Clips-Lakers game a couple weeks ago.

I actually just spoke with Tim about this yesterday and got the impression that he’s just being extra, extra cautious with this injury because it’s the preseason. If this were the regular season, it’s reasonable to assume he’d be playing right now. I don’t blame him at all because groin injuries, like hamstrings or quads, tend to linger if you don’t take your time coming back from them.

That said, it’s disappointing both he and Baron have missed so much time this preseason. Before they got hurt, Mike Dunleavy said that this was the best Tim had “ever looked” since he came to L.A. Not surprising when you remember that Tim’s most productive years came as a member of the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns, when he had an elite point guard –Steve Nash — finding him for spot up 3s. In the first two weeks of training camp, it seemed like Thomas and Baron had that chemistry as well. I expect Thomas to be ready for opening night on Wednesday. Baron will probably be ready, but we have to see how it goes this weekend when he tries to practice for the first time.

Can you talk to Dunleavy about his suits? Man! I thought I had bad taste in clothes! Who dresses the guy? Or maybe that’s the problem, he needs someone to dress him!

I know coach pretty well at this point, but not well enough to know who dresses him. Sorry, there are certain things that are and should stay off the record. That said, I have noticed Mike likes to mix and match jackets and pants. Light jacket, dark pants. Dark jacket, light pants. It’s just his look. I watch Project Runway, but that’s really the extent of my fashion experience, so I wouldn’t feel qualified to make any statements on the “fashionable-ness” (is that a word?) of his style.

I’ve been a clipper fan for 20 years and can’t remember them updating their uniforms like other teams. I desperately want to buy some clipper gears for my 3 year old and my new son (born last week) but can’t stand their old, tired look. Are they ever going to update their uniforms? Can you please ask them to update their uniforms?

Congrats on the newborn! Don’t know that they make Clipper gear for kids quite that young though. As for plans on new uniforms, I’m pretty sure that has to go through the league office so it’s not just up to the Clippers. A couple of years ago though, they did add the blue jerseys. They don’t wear them very often, but they are in the repertoire. Don’t know how you feel about blue, but it is a different look.

Answers Part I

“OK, here’s one… Do you know the contract details for rookies DeAndre Jordan and Mike Taylor? I’ve seen a few different reports. They’ve usually been reported as 2 year deals, but (usually pretty reliable) shows a non-guaranteed third year (which would be great, especially for 2010 cap space).

The Clippers liked both Taylor and Jordan enough to give them three-year contracts, however only the first year is guaranteed. Jordan is making $550,000 this season, Taylor $500,000. The league minimum for rookies is $442,114 so both guys are making more than that.

Their second and third years become guaranteed if they’re on the roster after a certain date. I wasn’t able to pin down exactly which dates, but I believe it’s July 31 after the first year and July 1 after the second year. In year two, both would make the second-year minimum of $736,420. In year three, the minimum would be $854,389.

The team’s philosophy on both guys was to reward them with more than the minimum salary in their rookie year in exchange for a longer contract (three-years).

Chris Kaman has looked completely out of it during the preseason and during the Olympics. Horrible strings of turnovers, can’t make a short shot. Hopefully last night’s game was a sign that he’s waking up. My question is: Is he OK? Is he injured or tired? Has he been using the biofeedback machine all summer?

From what I understand, Chris’ feet and ankles are generally OK, but he’s having some lingering pain and soreness in them, so he’s got to keep an eye on it. It’s hard to put a label on what’s ailing him. It’s basically a combination of plantar fasciitis and just “soreness” that happens after a player comes back from a serious ankle injury. One day after practice, coach Dunleavy was telling us all about the high-tech ways the team has for treating plantar fasciitis, so it seems like they’re doing everything they can to keep a handle on it.

Generally speaking though, this is not uncommon for 7-footers like Kaman, who have to be especially vigilant about their feet and ankles.

As for his slow start, Kaman was quoted in this newspaper and the Times the other night as saying he didn’t bring the level of intensity that he needed to and “that’s on me.” After that, he went out and had two pretty good preseason games, so it looks like that issue has been self-corrected.

Injury updates

Just got done speaking with Baron Davis, Tim Thomas and Marcus Camby and the latest is, all are trying to get back for the season opener against the Lakers on October 29, but no one is definitively ruling themselves in.

Thomas actually, is ruling himself out of Friday’s exhibition finale, saying he wants to be a little cautious with the injured groin which has caused him to miss all but one exhibition game.

Of the three, it sounded as if Thomas was the closest to returning, followed by Davis and then Camby.

Camby said he’s going to get a cortisone shot on his injured right heel Friday morning in the hopes it helps to control some of the pain and allows him to get a few practices in before opening night.

“I probably still need a couple more weeks of healing, but the time right now is not on my side with the season approaching in five or six days so I’m trying to do everything possible to get back out on the court,” Camby said.

When I asked whether it was possible he’d sit out a couple more weeks, Camby said, “No. I’m long overdue. I’ve been wanting to get out there on that court for some time now. I definitely want to get out there opening night.”

And if not opening night, what are the chances of Camby playing in the October 31 game against Denver?

“It’s a great chance,” he said. “ A lot of people are going to hype that game to be a revenge game or something like that, but honestly I’m just looking forward to seeing the guys again. They’re the guys I been with the last six years and we developed lifelong bonds, so just being out there on the court is going to be like reminicent of being in practice with those guys, so it’s nothing against the team at all.”

Clips workout Lindsey Hunter

By Ramona Shelburne
Staff Writer

So just how serious were the Clippers’ contingency plans if the diagnosis on Baron Davis’ sprained left ring finger came back negatively? Apparently, serious enough to have free agent guard Lindsey Hunter in for a workout this week.

“We worked him out and he looked great,” Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said. “He’s in great shape, and a good veteran guy.”

Now that the Clippers have official word that Davis should only be out another week and doesn’t need surgery, it’s unlikely they’d sign Hunter, who won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2001-02 and Detroit in 2003-04.

For his career, Hunter has averaged 8.8 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals. He’s been a key reserve for Detroit since 2003.