All guaranteed with Dickau

I have done a perusal of other Clipper blogs and chat rooms and the such and realize that the passion of Clipper nation remains strong, despite a potentially disastrous season on tap with Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston hurt.

I have also noticed that a lot of fans love to play coach and/or general manager trying to figure out who will make the team and who will start. As a member of the MSM Mainstream Media, I believe that means, — I have access and information to stop some of the misinformation out there. Some of it comes solely from the blogosphere, while other misinformation actually comes from the MSM itself.

”Dickau”

After the Clippers sign Dan Dickau on Wednesday, they will have 15 guaranteed contracts, so their roster will be set unless the team makes a trade or buys out one of the guaranteed players. The starting roster is expected to be: Sam Cassell, Cuttino Mobley, Corey Maggette, Tim Thomas and Chris Kaman.

However, that starting lineup presents a problem because Quinton Ross is Cassells defensive valet, and he might start in place of Mobley or Maggette.

As for former first-round pick Yaroslav Korolev, he was not signed to a tryout contract as of Monday afternoon. But coach Mike Dunleavy said he expected to see Korolev in camp, although that might not happen. If Korolev does come to camp, he will not have a guaranteed contract and not have a partially guaranteed contract. He would simply join Marcus Douthit and Kimani Ffriend (yes, two Fs) with a free-agent, tryout contract.

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Brand given the boot

A tidbit of news came out of the Clippers today. Elton Brand had the cast removed from his left leg and was fitted for a removable walking boot at Christiana Cares Wilmington Hospital in Wilmington, Del.

Brand has been ordered to wear the boot for six weeks, and during this time frame, hell be undergoing physical therapy.

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What this all means is this: Brand is on the proper medical schedule to return from tearing his left Achilles on Aug. 3. There is no timetable for his return, but it is safe to say not in 2007.

Brands injury was a major blow to the Clippers, and theyll have to enact some sort of smoke and mirrors interior offense and defense in his absence. He meant so much to them in terms of rebounding, scoring and shot blocking that, quite frankly, the Clippers cannot replace him.

The Clippers can hope that Chris Kaman becomes an All-Star this year and that Tim Thomas has the best season of his life and thrives playing more power forward, instead of small forward. And even if that happens with Kaman and Thomas, the Clippers still will have a huge hole without Brand.

How this team remains competitive without Brand appears to be some sort of glorious riddle. Hence, please see the previous blog featuring Dunleavy and his moneybags

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How moneybags make sense (not cents)

Elton Brand (Achilles) is expected to be out until at least 2008, and so will Shaun Livingston (horrific knee injury). Isn’t there an adage that there is opportunity within disaster???

Well, if that’s the case, maybe the upcoming Clippers’ season, which looks like a disaster waiting to happen on paper, can be salvaged if coach Mike Dunleavy shows why the Clippers signed him to a five-year extension worth about $25 million.

Yes, that’s $25 million!!! That’s huge cash. Even by NBA coaching salaries, that’s huge cash. One more time: $25 million!

Ka-ching:

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Dunleavy has a chance to show he’s worth that by somehow leading the Clippers to the playoffs. Heck, he’d probably show a lot if he simply got the team to be competitive, considering those injuries.

Let’s see if “The Season of Injury” can become “The Season of Dunleavy.”

It’s probably the Clippers’ only hope.

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Brevin Knight and summer league

Amid all the pain of the Clippers’ offseason, we forget about Brevin Knight. How much does he have left? How about Sam Cassell? What does he have left??

But amid the talk about all the veterans, assistant coach Rory White and the Clippers’ coaching staff have been hard at work developing the team’s young players, including draft pick Al Thornton and big man Chris Kaman…

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Aches, pains and signings

With Labor Day weekend here, we might as well rate the Clippers’ summer. IT IS AN F!

That might not necessarily be because of their moves, or lack of moves, but the news that Elton Brand will be out for at least several months is not at all what they needed. The news warrants the F. The signing of Brevin Knight should help a lot, but the question remains whether Sam Cassell can hold up for another year.

With so many teams in the West improved, it’s hard to see how the Clippers can seriously compete for a playoff spot with their injuries. Maybe they needed to go the Danny Ainge route and totally revamp their roster. But other than Corey Maggette and Brand himself, they might not have any serious trade bait on their roster.

If Mike Dunleavy leads this team to the playoffs, he should be the league’s Coach of the Year… But then again, a lot can happen. It’s only Labor Day weekend.

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Free-agent scoop: Right here

The scoop is this: The Clippers are desperately trying to sign a veteran point guard and have two guys in which they’re negotiating. The problem is that those guys are negotiating with other teams, too, so no deals are imminent. Exactly who those players are, the Clippers don’t want to say because they don’t want to have their names in stories adversely affect negotiating.

However, we do know this much: The Clippers are hoping Sam Cassell will be their starter. They figure that Guillermo Diaz, second-round pick Jared Jordan and Will Conroy will battle for the third-string point guard job.

So they’re looking for a No. 2 point guard. Jason Hart filled in admirably and could be the guy, but he is testing the free-agent market. Personally, I like Hart and think he’d fit the team’s needs. No matter what, this is a very important move because there is no guarantee Cassell will hold up as their starter…

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It’s time to think about the draft

Back by popular demand, aka a loyal reader of this blog named Carlos, it’s time to talk Clippers again… An argument has been made that this past season was the most disappointing in franchise history. After further review, that argument doesn’t work. Yes, expectations were higher than ever, and it was a bummer to Clipper nation to miss the playoffs. But going through 20-win seasons is much more painful than being whipped by the reality of being lottery-bound — again.

With that said and out of the way, the Clippers need a point guard. In the draft, they should take a point guard, unless there is an incredible physical wonder at the No. 14 spot that they can’t pass up. Even if the Clippers draft a point guard, they’ll still need another point guard. Sam Cassell and Shaun Livingston’s durability is in question. Jason Hart would be nice to retain, but he’s a free agent. We’ll see what happens, and maybe the draft isn’t deep enough at the PG position. But we shall see…

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Pip and Miss Havisham

Those characters come to mind because, well, it’s obvious. There are great expectations for these Clippers. I don’t think there has ever been a season in which so much was expected for this franchise. Will they improve upon last season???

I am not a soothsayer and have learned not to try to be one. If there is an over/under on their wins I’d place it at 48, but who knows? The one thing I’m most interested in seeing is how Corey Maggette responds, injury-free, and what his role will be, injury-free. If he is healthy, will it mean the team will be even better than last season? We’ll see.

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KAMAN AGREES TO THE EXTENSION

Just got confirmation that Chris Kaman agreed to his contract extension with a tweaked contract, a little more than five years for $50 million. This should be one of those moves in which both sides are extremely happy. The Clippers had an off day on Saturday, but they’ll be having a news conference on Sunday…

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