These are my two cents, because I was getting excited on being a fringe bandwagon Clippers fan, and now the joy has (somewhat) been taken away from me by Mr. Brand. As Mr. Hideous said himself, never, EVER trust a Dukie. Okay, let me rant...
The fact of the matter is this: Baron wouldn't have thought about signing with the Clippers if he didn't think Brand was gonna be there. Second, Brand didn't even try and negotiate with the Clips, even if he did a bigger deal from Philly. I don't buy the fact totally that the Clip Show wouldn't pay Brand because they've been trying to sign folks for years (Kobe almost signed with LAC, Ray straight up denied them, and Gilbert Arenas was seriously thinking about it as well.) Also, dude just came off a serious knee injury, yet Philly's willing to pay $16M/year for that? That's a suspect investment, but I'll get on PHILA in a minute.
Look at the league now; the trend is pay three dudes major money and build with role players afterwards. Look at Boston: KG gets number one money, Pierce gets number two money, and Ray gets number three money. Same with LA: Kobe, Gasol, and Odom. What's Philly gonna do really? Brand's getting number one money at $16M, Iguodala gets number two money at $70M, and then Dalembert (?) gets number three money at $10M per year? And your most important player is ANDRE MILLER! Boston, Detroit, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington are all still better than Philly right now. Plus, Miami is definitely gonna be better, Atlanta's got a strong core, and Milwaukee's better with Richard Jefferson. Right now, they are a number seven seed with no cap room.
If he would've stayed with the Clippers, they would have had more depth and would have overall better players with Kaman, Baron, Tim Thomas, and Cat Mobley. Plus, there's Al Thornton, Eric Gordon, and Deandre Jordan as the young nucleus. They would've been way more poised to be a 4-5 seed in the West. Phoenix is down, Dallas is down, Houston is fatally flawed, as is Denver and Golden State. I dunno, if LAC gets Emeka Okafor, for less money as well ($60M maybe), I'd say they better without Brand. That's a serious front line; kinda reminds me of Boston's frontline. Just Ed's personal opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, but if Emeka goes to La-La land, I think Baron will still be smiling in the end. Oh, boy.
The King comes back to the City of Angels, look at him at UCLA (third highlight is one of the best ever)