Out: Paul Davis. In: Cheikh Samb.
Out: Fred Jones. Probably back in: Jones.
Suffice to say, it was an active day for the Clippers. They shuffled a few deck chairs -- no cruel jokes, please -- with a variety of changes Monday and shot down an out-there trade rumor before leaving for tonight’s game at Dallas.
It started with two moves, waiving forward Davis and guard Jones, who injured his right foot early in the Clippers’ loss to the Pistons on Sunday when he stepped on teammate Marcus Camby’s foot.
“For right now, we’re going to go in a different direction [from Davis], and we made a deal for Cheikh Samb, a 7-footer, bringing him in to take a look,” General Manager and Coach Mike Dunleavy said.
They acquired the center, along with cash considerations, from the Denver Nuggets for a future conditional second-round draft choice.
Increased flexibility was the guiding force behind the moves, considering the injuries ravaging the Clippers. Jones is on a non-guaranteed contract, and as of Friday, all player contracts are guaranteed for the rest of the season.
In order to clear waivers by Friday, a player has to be placed there by 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday. Jones could clear and get signed by the Clippers, or they could look at other options, including some of the players who recently tried out for the Phoenix Suns at point guard.
The timing of the injury couldn’t have been much worse for Jones. With the injuries to Baron Davis (bruised tailbone) and Jason Hart (elbow tendinitis), Jones finally was getting a long look.
“That’s where it hurt me more than anything. It hurt me more not being able to play than my foot was hurting yesterday,” Jones said. “Just to see the opportunity, and want to take full advantage and not be able to. That was the painful part.”
An MRI exam provided Jones with some optimism, and the swelling in the foot was greatly reduced. If Jones can play, he said, he will put up with some pain.
“I feel like I’m one of those old-school players that puts some ice on it and you go out there and do what you need to do,” he said.
Two games in a row, Jones stepped on another player’s foot. In Phoenix, it was Shaquille O’Neal.
“I’ve got to stay away from centers,” Jones said.
Dunleavy dismissed the latest trade rumor out of New York, which had the Clippers sending Camby to the Knicks.
“I’m looking to trade 20-rebound guys every day,” Dunleavy said sarcastically. “I liked Marcus before we got him. I love him even more now.”