Marcus Camby might be 38 years old and heading into his 17th NBA season, but neither of those things seem to be scaring away the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Clippers.
Despite being shuffled all over the place last season, Camby averaged seven points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of action per game. While his scoring output has mostly declined over the last few years, his rebounding totals (given his age plus the wear and tear on his body) have remained at really impressive levels.
Presuming a team can keep his playing time in the 20-22 minutes range, there is no reason to think that he couldn’t be a valuable contributor next year.
All of which probably explains why the defending champions and three teams who hope to dethrone Miami are busy trying to bring him in.
First, the Heat (via Yahoo! Sports):
Free agent center Marcus Camby still visiting MIA on Saturday, but would now need a sign & trade from HOU to get deal done, source tells Y!— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 7, 2012
But then… (via ProBasketballTalk):
Free agent center Marcus Camby’s scheduled Saturday visit to South Florida to meet with the Heat was postponed Saturday morning because the Heat no longer has its $3.1 million mid level exception (which is going to Ray Allen) and Camby wants to see if there’s a possibility if the Heat and Houston Rockets can work out a sign-and-trade that would deliver him a salary in that range or higher.
As far as the Knicks go (via ESPN):
The Knicks are hoping to make a sign-and-trade deal for one of them and use their $3.09 million mid-level exception to sign the other.
That financial factor is one of the biggest reasons why the Knicks have the edge over the Heat and are the early favorite to land Camby, who is meeting with the team's front office on Sunday in Houston. That's where the 38-year-old played toward the end of last season after being traded from Portland.
In addition to the opportunity for a higher salary, a source close to Camby said the center is drawn to the Knicks because he has a "great relationship" with general manager Glen Grunwald. He was the assistant general manager in Toronto in 1996 when the Raptors made the center the second pick in that year's NBA draft.
Then there's the Nets (via CBS Sports):
The Nets also have entered the Camby chase, with GM Billy King pursuing the 38-year-old center "pretty hard," according to a source. It is not clear whether this is an indication that the Nets believe their chances of landing Howard are diminishing; sources say Camby is being targeted as a backup in Brooklyn to either Howard or Brook Lopez.
And, finally, the Clippers:
Add the Clippers to teams interested in Rockets free agent C Marcus Camby, a source said. Nets to set up meeting. NY & MIA still interested.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 8, 2012
If this comes down to the best sign-and-trade package, it’s hard to see Miami getting Camby. At the moment, his landing spots, in order of likelihood, would probably be: 1.) Knicks 2.) Nets 3.) Clippers and 4.) Heat.
Then again, given what we’ve seen thus far this summer, he’ll probably end up with Heat.