Clippers sign Azubuike to offer sheet
July 17, 2008
By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) -The Los Angeles Clippers continued their busy offseason Thursday, signing restricted free agent swing man Kelenna Azubuike to an offer sheet.
The 24-year-old Azubuike, who played at Kentucky, averaged 8.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 21.4 minutes while playing 81 games for the Golden State Warriors last season. The Warriors have seven days to match the Clippers' three-year offer for about $9 million once they receive a copy of the offer sheet.
``Kelenna is a guy who's worked his way up,'' coach Mike Dunleavy said by telephone from Las Vegas, where the Clippers have a summer league team. ``He's very athletic, he's a good shooter, a good defender and a good all-around kid.''
Dunleavy said current plans call for Azubuike to be the Clippers' backup small forward behind Al Thornton if the Warriors decide not to match.
``He can play some (shooting guard), he can play some (small forward),'' Dunleavy said.
Azubuike, who averaged 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 assists in two seasons with the Warriors, would join former teammate Baron Davis with the Clippers. Davis signed a five-year, $65 million contract earlier this month.
Former Clippers stars Elton Brand and Corey Maggette have gone elsewhere - Brand signing with the Philadelphia 76ers and Maggette with the Warriors. But the Clippers brought in Davis and acquired center Marcus Camby from Denver earlier this week.
Asked whether he expects the Warriors to match the Clippers' offer, Dunleavy said: ``You just never know. They've got a lot of players at that position.''
The coach referred to Maggette, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson and 2007 first-round draft pick Marco Belinelli, among others.
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