Clips get Telfair, Smith from Wolves for Q-Rich

The Clippers traded Quentin Richardson to the Timberwolves today for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Mark Madsen.
Richardson had just been acquired in a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies last week for Zach Randolph, but he will now take his expiring contract to Minnesota.
In exchange, the Clips get two solid reserves and that archetypal “glue guy.”
“We felt like Q helped us at 1 spot,” assistant general manager Neil Olshey said. “But we added multiple reserves for him. What this trade does is solidify the backup spots.”
Smith, a power forward entering his fourth season, has been an efficient player in the NBA. He averaged 10.1 points in fewer than 20 minutes per game for the Wolves last season. His PER (Player Efficiency Rating) was an exceedingly high 17.01 for a backup. By comparison, Zach Randolph’s was 19.72 and Richardson’s was 11.62. Smith also lit up the Clippers for 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in a January contest.
“He’s the type of guy guys like playing with because he knows who he is as an offensive player and he flourishes in that role,” Olshey said.
Telfair, a highly-touted point guard out of Brooklyn, New York, never lived up his phenom expectations but has turned into a viable backup at the 1. Still only 24 years old, he averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 assists per game last season while starting 43 of 75 games. With the Wolves selecting both Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn in the first round of the June draft and Flynn lighting it up, Telfair became expendable.
Olshey: “With Sebastian, we get a solid backup point guard who is a great penetrator and very quick.”
Madsen will hardly play with the Clippers but was a necessary piece to make the money work from end to end. He just scored just six points for the Wolves last season in 19 games, but has always been ultra-popular to fans and teammates alike.
“Mark is a great person, and character-wise, he’ll be great in the locker room,” Olshey said.
Both Smith and Madsen have expiring contracts, while Telfair has a $2.7 million player option for 2010-11.

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Z-Bo trade should be completed by Thursday

The Zach Randolph-Quentin Richardson trade hasn’t been completed just yet, due to “timing,” according to a source. This has a lot to do with the reported trade involving Shawn Marion between Dallas-Toronto-Memphis. Basically, Memphis has cap space to help facilitate the deal, but will lose that space when Randolph goes onto their books. Hence the “timing.”

My source indicated the deal should go through by tomorrow at the latest however.

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Media chimes in on Randolph trade

Evidently, 77% of you think the Zach Randolph trade was good for the Clips, and local and national media outlets largely share the same opinion.

Kevin Arnovitz at Clipperblog, also at ESPN: “For the Clippers, moving Randolph isn’t just about clearing minutes — it allows the franchise to press rewind on what was a diastrous cultural acquisition in Randolph.”

BIll Simmons: Dunleavy turns Z-Bo into Q’s expiring deal for 8 mill less + copious 2010 cap space? All is forgiven! Red Auerbach lives!”

Steve Perrin at Clips Nation: “Frankly it’s about as good as the Clippers could have hoped for…they’ll clear cap space for the 2010 off season when some huge names are going to become free agents.”

Interestingly, though, only 38% of national fans think the Clippers got the better of the trade, according to a poll by Foxsports.

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Clippers trade Randolph for Richardson

Make room for Blake Griffin.

On Wednesday the Clippers agreed to a deal that would send starting power forward Zach Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Quentin Richardson, according to an NBA source with knowledge of the deal, thus clearing the way for Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in last week’s draft.

Due to league rules, the deal can not be completed until next week.

Randolph was the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder last season. He averaged 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds in 39 games after coming over in a midseason trade with the New York Knicks.

When the Clippers won the lottery however, there was no longer room in the frontcourt for Randolph, Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby and now Griffin, a 6-foot-10 power forward.

The deal also creates an interesting homecoming with Richardson, who played four seasons with the Clippers from 2000-04, before signing a rich free agent contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Richardson averaged 10.2 points for the New York Knicks last season, but was shipped to Memphis in a draft-day trade for Darko Milicic.

The Clippers also benefit financially from the deal, getting out from under the $33 million owed to Randolph over the next two seasons, while taking back only Richardson’s $9 million salary next season.

Because of the difference in Randolph and Richardson’s salaries, the Clippers also receive an $8 million trade exception, which they can use later.

Randolph’s agent Raymond Brothers said that his client was disappointed to learn of the deal, because he felt he had found an NBA home with the Clippers.

“It’s tough getting traded but that’s part of this business,” Brothers said. “It’s just unfortunate because Zach really felt comfortable in L.A. and felt like he’d found a home. He wanted me to thank the Clippers and (owner) Donald Sterling for the opportunity to play with them for a year.”

The two teams had discussed a deal involving Randolph on draft day,
but it fizzled, a league source said, because the Grizzlies insisted
on the Clippers taking either Marko Jaric or Greg Buckner along with
Milicic.

The Clippers insisted on taking back a player with an expiring
contract, in order to justify parting ways with a proven frontcourt
player like Randolph.

The Clippers also weren’t completely sold on adding Milicic, the
former No. 2 overall pick who has had an underwhelming NBA career,
because it would’ve added another player to an already-crowded
frontcourt.

When the Grizzlies dealt Milicic for Richardson, it reignited trade
talks.

Richardson had the best season of his career playing for the Clippers
in 2003-04, when he averaged 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.

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