First Cup: Wednesday

  • Woody Paige of The Denver Post: "Camby for Gumby? Actually, the Nuggets got ... get this: the right to exchange second-round draft choices with the Clippers in 2010. Uh. A blipping second-round draft-pick swap. Duh. They'd been better off acquiring a lovable, green clay figure with a horse named Pokey. The Nuggets got clipped. ... They call that outrageous deal a plan to win a playoff series? They call that ridiculous move a way to improve the defense? They call that nonsensical decision the solution to the Nuggets' problems? They should call that the 9-1-1 deal."TrueHoop First Cup

  • Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News: "Mark Warkentien was asked if he's concerned about the public-relations implications of getting nothing immediate for Camby, who averaged 9.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and an NBA-high 3.61 blocked shots last season. 'It's not a checkers move,' he said. 'It's a chess move. Chess is a tougher game to understand. You've got to wait longer to see the results of the move.' Rick Kaplan said Camby was 'shocked.' He said Camby, who played six Nuggets seasons, was most concerned about his charity endeavors in Denver."

  • Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times: "It's the biggest rebound of the year for the Clippers. And, arguably, the most dramatic in their tortured history. One week after the heart and soul of their team, their most skilled, most respected and most beloved player, Elton Brand, walked out on them, along with Corey Maggette, their leading scorer, the Clippers obtained an imposing substitute in 6-foot-11, 235-pound Marcus Camby."

  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer: "Patience could pay off for the Charlotte Bobcats, in regard to Emeka Okafor, after the Los Angeles Clippers made a big trade Tuesday. The Clippers used up most of their room under the salary cap, absorbing the $11.2million salary of Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby. The Nuggets, deep in luxury-tax territory, needed to reduce payroll, and accepted a second-round pick for Camby. The Clippers previously had about $12million under the cap, and were a threat to sign Okafor, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. 'It eliminates a scenario,' said Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins, while watching his team play a summer-league game against the Golden State Warriors. 'Still, it was just more speculation from our standpoint.'"

  • Scott Howard-Cooper of the Sacramento Bee: "One of the best and worst thing about the Maloofs as Kings owners is that they're fans and often lead with their emotions, and so they're as frustrated by the waves of nuttiness as you. But here's what they won't say, with any tone: It's their fault too. Not just Joe or Gavin or Mama Maloof, as Ron Artest calls Colleen, the family matriarch. Anyone in the organization that had a hand in trading for him. Anyone in the organization that has not seen to it that Artest has not been traded away. Anyone in the organization that has let him get away with it for the two years, 5 months and 19 days in the interim. Not that you're counting."

  • Jeff Rabjohns of The Indianapolis Star: "After leading the Big East regular-season champion Hoyas in scoring (13.4), rebounding (6.4) and blocked shots (2.2) as a senior, Roy Hibbert said Tuesday his immediate goal is 'jump in headfirst and make a splash.' ...'Obviously, being a defensive presence is one thing a big man has to make sure he does,' Hibbert said. "Shooting and scoring, that's one thing. But at the same time, I have to protect the basket, so I'm going to make sure I do that to the best of my ability. I know a lot is going to be asked of me, and I'm going to make sure to bring it every day.'"

  • Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times: "For all those who doubt Anthony Randolph, keep doubting. For all those who say he's too skinny, too raw, for the highest level of basketball, keep talking. He's listening. 'It's motivation,' Randolph said Tuesday. 'People always have their opinions. I have so much to prove.'"

  • Tim Buckley of the Deseret News: "Yaroslav Korolev returned in December to his native Russia and played instead for his hometown Moscow Dynamo, thinking the whole time about an eventual return to the NBA. And now he is a free agent in the Jazz's Rocky Mountain Revue camp, now just 21 and hoping to salvage what once was at his fingertips. 'It's the best league in the world, and everybody's trying to go here. Me, too,' Korolev said Tuesday. 'Especially at my age,' he added, 'I still have a lot of years in front of me, so I'm gonna do my best to get back here as early as I can.'"

  • Terry Foster of The Detroit News: "Jason Richardson is aware. He sees plant closings, struggling families and high crime rates. And he recognizes the power of his position as an NBA star. So Richardson, capitalizing on his status, is reaching out to children in his hometown of Saginaw. He said it's important for him to act now, while the kids still can see him dunking and hitting 3-point shots for the Charlotte Bobcats. On Friday, Richardson will host his third annual Man-up Forum in Saginaw Valley State University's Curtiss Hall Auditorium. This year's theme is 'bridging the gap between fathers and sons.' ... 'The expression 'man-up' means that men have to face what's in front of them -- responsibility, challenges, fears -- anything that needs addressing," Richardson says. 'That's what we're doing at the forum: addressing the common concerns we face as men of all ages and personal backgrounds.'"