Marcus Camby’s six year run as a Denver Nugget came to an end last night with the trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers for a bag of peanuts.
As a fan at least, that’s what this deal feels like and amounts to. In actuality, it gets the Nuggets under the salary cap to avoid the luxury tax for a 2nd straight year, and it creates some options for this season and next. The Nuggets now have a $10 million trade exception, which basically means that if this season goes way better than expected, the Nuggets could sign som extra help before the trade deadline and up to 10 million of that player’s salary would not count against this year’s salary cap. The Nuggets also get the right to swap 2nd round draft picks with the Clippers in the 2010 draft, assuming the Clippers pick will be better than ours.
As a huge fan of Marcus Camby, I really hate to see him leave the Nuggets and the Denver community. He has been the Nuggets starting center for the entire time he has been in Denver and is one of the most genuine and most likable players that the Nuggets have had here in recent memory – exhibited by the fact that in my family of 4, we have three of his jersey’s.
Camby arrived in a draft day trade on June 26, 2002. He has led the NBA in blocked shots in each of the last three seasons and leaves as the second-leading shot blocker in Nuggets team history (1,126), second only to Dikembe Mutombo. He has been named to the NBAâ€™s All-Defensive First Team in each of the last two seasons and was the Defensive player of the Year in the 2006-2007 season. In 372 games with the Nuggets, he averaged 10.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 3.03 bpg. From early in his career, Camby was classified as an injury prone player, but in his six seasons here, he has shown an increasing trend of shedding that moniker, having played 3 seasons of 70 or more games out of the max 82, with two of those coming in the past two seasons.
Marcus will especially be missed in the Denver community, where his Cambyland foundation and Thanksgiving and Christmas events were exemplary in showing how an athlete can give back. Hopefully part of Camby’s legacy will be carried on by the remaining athletes on the team, but they are huge shoes to fill.
Lastly, I wish Marcus the best of luck with the Clippers, except when they happen to play the Nuggets a couple of times each season.