One foot in, one foot out.
Or in the case of injured Baron Davis, it was more like one knee in, one knee out.
The Clippers decided they had had enough of that delicate tap dance and put something of a timeline on the process.
"We're going to give him a couple of weeks to get right and see where he is after that," Del Negro said. "You know, his knee has been bothering him and we've got to get him right.
"Nothing major. But it's a long season and we need him to play at a level where he can really help us."
Davis returned Tuesday at New Orleans, playing limited minutes, about 10 in all, and said the knee did not feel great afterward. The next day he said there was more swelling.
Del Negro said during the team's recent trip that Davis had an MRI exam of the knee, on Monday, and there was nothing alarming to report.
Apparently, the setback in New Orleans paved the way for the decision.
"Playing 15 minutes or playing 10, coming in and missing games and coming out and everything else, it's just … it's not good for him and it's not good for the team," Del Negro said.
"We just decided it's better for him to get his therapy, his conditioning, everything he needs and then reevaluate. In two weeks he should be ready to go. That's the plan."
It seemed as though veteran Tracy McGrady spent the entire summer touring the NBA, looking for a new home. He worked out for the Clippers and the Chicago Bulls, among other teams, before landing in Detroit.
Del Negro was on hand for McGrady's workout session with the Clippers.
"He's been a very good player in this league for a long time," Del Negro said before the game. "But it's unfortunate where his health is at. … In watching him, he still knows how to play, so he can have an effect on a game because he's a good passer."
McGrady, coming off the bench, was two for two for five points against the Clippers in the first half.