Sammy and Timmy T to sign with Clips
Lakers, Clippers Make Moves
Radmanovic signs with Lakers; Cassell on the way out as Clippers sign Suns' Thomas
By Mike Bresnahan and Jason Reid, Times Staff Writer
9:04 PM PDT, July 1, 2006
In a day filled with innumerable twists, the local basketball landscape shifted, sighed and eventually settled as Vladimir Radmanovic left the Clippers for the Lakers, Tim Thomas left Phoenix for the Clippers, and Sam Cassell stayed where he was last season — as a Clipper.
The Lakers moved quickly on the first day of free agency by snatching away a piece from their cross-town rival and agreeing to terms Saturday with Radmanovic, a three-point shooting forward who has made a career of stretching defenses.
The Clippers reacted swiftly after Radmanovic and Cassell apparently reneged on agreements to stay with them, then reaching terms with the sharp-shooting Thomas and making a push for free-agent guard Bobby Jackson as a back-up plan in case Cassell left.
But Cassell, the 36-year-old point guard and undisputed on-court general of the Clippers last season, late Saturday agreed to a two-year, $13-million contract, keeping intact a Clippers nucleus that lasted longer than the Lakers in this year's playoffs.
Free agents cannot officially sign contracts until July 12.
Throughout the day, Cassell was weighing three options: a two-year, $13-million offer from Atlanta, a two-year, $11-million offer from the Clippers and a three-year, $12-million offer from Denver. After learning Atlanta was the highest bidder, Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy told Cassell to give him a number to get the deal done, sources said.
Dunleavy received approval from Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling to increase the offer, and Cassell agreed to remain with the team he helped lead to new heights last season.