The Biggest Free Agent Signing in Los Angeles Clippers History
Has hell frozen over? Or have the Clippers signed a free agent for real? Try the latter, as Cuttino Mobley voluntarily chose to go from another organization to the Los Angeles Clippers for FIVE years. Even more stunning is that Donald Sterling will pay Mobley $42 million for the privilege of wearing Red and Blue. By now you might be wondering why we're making the Cuttino Mobley signing out to be a franchise milestone. Well, since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they have signed three players who are even slightly notable - Jamal Wilkes in 1985, Sherman Douglas in 1999, and Glen Rice in 2003. At the time though, all of those players were well past their primes, and none of them had any impact whatsoever, playing a combined 61 games.
It wasn't until the Clippers matched salaries on Elton Brand and Corey Maggette two years ago, that they had even re-signed one of their own free agents (thank you, NBA collective bargaining agreement), aside from Ken Norman and Eric Piatkowski.
Basically, the signing of Mobley is the first time Donald Sterling has ever reached out of his own pocket, bid highly for a good player from another organization, and the player accepted. This is stunning.
Even more surprising is that the Clippers are making sound basketball decisions. Sure, they lost Bobby Simmons, but he played a position they filled fine with Maggette, and he's not as good as Mobley who is $1 million a year cheaper. LAist has always liked Cuttino Mobley, because of his ability to create, work in the open floor, and hit the open jumper. He adds a nice athletic spark that the Clippers could definitely use.
What's more, is that by choosing to be a Clipper for five years, he's helping to make a major statement about the direction of the organization. Signing Mobley will only make guys like Brand and Maggette happier, and make them motivated to realize this team's potential. Kudos, Donald. It took you over 20 years, but you finally get it.