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Clips' Rumor Mill Whirling

We opened the week by ripping the Clippers' front office for making it rather difficult to figure out what the plan is in Hollywood these days.  The first Chris Kaman-to-Charlotte rumor didn't do a whole lot to change the attitude here.

Neither does the second.

ESPN's J.A. Adande mentioned on Tuesday that he heard that the Clips are now in talks with the Bobcats about a swap centered on Kaman and Jason Richardson rather than the originally rumored deal for Gerald Wallace (but he has a second source telling him that Kaman won't be moving). 

Acquiring Richardson makes a bit more sense than does bringing in Wallace.  But not a ton.

Richardson has two fewer seasons left on his contract than does Wallace, is only a year older, has a better health record, shoots the ball better from the outside and is the more prolific scorer over the breadth of their careers.  He also plays the two rather than the three, and the Clips seem to have gone further toward integrating second-year three-man Al Thornton into the rotation than they have with rookie guard Eric Gordon, who made his first career start on Monday night.   Richardson ran with Baron Davis in Golden State, and the two have a good rapport.

Still, a trade for Richardson means trading a relatively youthful big man talent who continues to come into his own for a non-elite swingman.  Kaman is the most well-rounded of the three well-paid Clips bigs, and his name also isn't Zach Randolph.  Those are two good reasons right there to keep him - or at least to hold him out for a more lucrative return than a good (but not great) swing player who will take minutes from either Thornton or Gordon, two of the team's most important young parts.

I remain curious to see how the Randolph experiment works out in Los Angeles.  The forecast seems to call for plenty of points and box score filling early and then a poor ending.  It's all a matter of how long it takes to get to that poor ending and what can be accomplished beforehand.

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