Thursday, July 14, 2005
Five-year deal reportedly worth about $42 million
LOS ANGELES -- Cuttino Mobley, one of the NBA's most accurate outside shooters, will play for the Los Angeles Clippers next season, his agent said Thursday.
"An agreement has been reached," Andy Miller said from his office in Tenafly, N.J.
Miller wouldn't divulge terms, but it's believed the parties agreed to a five-year deal worth around $42 million. Contracts cannot be signed until an NBA moratorium ends July 22.
The 29-year-old Mobley, an unrestricted free agent, has averaged 17.1 points in seven NBA seasons. He played for the Houston Rockets for six years before being traded to the Orlando Magic last summer. He was traded again in January, to the Sacramento Kings for Doug Christie.
Mobley, a 6-foot-4 left-handed guard, averaged 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Magic and Kings before opting out of a contract that would have paid him $6.4 million next season.
The Clippers have been one of the NBA's least successful franchises over the years, failing to make the playoffs since 1997 and advancing to the postseason only three times since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984. They lost in the first round each time.
But Miller said Mobley believes things are going to change.
"There wasn't one determining factor, there were a number of them," Miller said regarding Mobley's decision. "Cuttino and I were very impressed with the consistency and aggressiveness the Clippers showed toward us and their desire to win.
"Winning is the absolute most important thing to Cuttino. With coach [Mike] Dunleavy managing the team, Cuttino feels very confident that there not only is a very strong commitment to win but a direction as well," he said.
Mobley figures to start in the backcourt with Shaun Livingston. That would move Corey Maggette from shooting guard to his natural position of small forward to start up front with Elton Brand and Chris Kaman.
"I feel it's a perfect fit," Miller said. "We're very excited about the opportunity."
The Clippers finished last in the NBA in 3-point shots tried and made last season. Mobley ranked third in the league in 3-point accuracy, shooting 150-of-342 (43.9 percent) from beyond the arc.
Miller said the Clippers beat out several teams for Mobley's services.
"There was a lot of interest and a lot of dialogue," Miller said. "In making this decision, this shows how much he values the Clippers' situation."
Miller also said Mobley found Los Angeles "an attractive place to play."
Forward Bobby Simmons, voted the NBA's most improved player last season, when he averaged 16.4 points for the Clippers, agreed to a five-year, $47 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks last week.
Mobley seems a better fit for the Clippers and will apparently come a little cheaper.
Mobley was the 42nd overall selection of the Rockets in the 1998 NBA draft after playing at Rhode Island, where he averaged 14.3 points in 93 career games.