Bye, Bye, Bobby
Add Bobby Simmons' name to the long list of Clippers who have left via free agency over the years. The NBA's Most Improved Player, has accepted a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks that will pay him $47 million over 5 years. While we're sure Clippers fans are groaning, Donald Sterling, Mike Dunleavy, and Elgin Baylor have made the right decisiion here. Sterling's frugality has been the Clippers biggest problem over the years, but sometimes it actually helps.
Remember that Sterling refused to give Maurice Taylor a $100 million contract a few years ago, and was lambasted by super agent David Falk for being cheap. Well, Taylor was a good player at the time, but certainly not worth $100 million, and he hasn't done anything noteworthy in the NBA since he left LA. Sterling also refused to give a maximum deal to Michael Olowokandi, or anything remotely close to what he wanted. The Kandi Man left LA for Minnesota where he solidified his status as one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history.
Similarly, if Bobby Simmons wants more than $9 million a year to be a Clippers sixth man, then he should take a hike. Paying $47 million to a guy who has had one good year is fiscally irresponsible. The NBA is filled with players who had one fleeting flash in the pan, cashed in, and did nothing afterward. Many of those players are on the New York Knicks, a team that's capped out through 2009.
Bobby Simmons had a great year, and deservedly won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. He showed that he can be a good scorer in the league. But is he someone you can trust to make a five-year multi-million dollar commitment to? His season seemed to come out of nowhere, and he's never going to be a star in the NBA.
Rumor has it that the Clippers are going after Cuttino Mobley. LAist actually thinks Mobley would make a better addition to the Clippers than Simmons. We'd be surprised if Mobley went to LA, considering Steve Francis can't bear to play a game without him in Orlando, but maybe the Red and Blue can work some magic. They can at least feel good that they made the right decision for the future by not getting into a bid war for Simmons.