Worst free agent signing in LA Clippers history: Baron Davis
5 years, $65 million
Many NBA fans will remember Baron Davis for his years with the Golden State Warriors or even the Los Angeles Clippers, but he started his career in Charlotte and played with the Hornets (in Charlotte and New Orleans) for six seasons, often leading them to the postseason.
His next chapter came in early 2005 when he was traded to the Warriors, joining a squad that soon became known as the “We Believe” Warriors that upset the Dallas Mavericks in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup in 2007. This was the context for Davis’ free agency in 2008, the following summer.
Attracted to the possibility of playing in his hometown of Los Angeles, Davis signed with the Clippers in 2008. His expectation was to pair with power forward Elton Brown to lead the Clippers towards something resembling respectability. Instead, Brand signed with the Philadelphia 76ers and Davis was left to make the most of the situation.
Davis’ efficiency went down the hill in Los Angeles, and he turned out to be guiding a ship destined not for the playoffs, but the top of the lottery. After multiple inefficient seasons that saw him clash with team management and the since-removed owner of the Clippers in Donald Sterling.
In light of that and with the Clippers seeking to get younger, they traded Davis along with a first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That pick ended up leaping to the top slot and the Cavaliers selected Kyrie Irving. Davis never lived up to his contract, and in the very act of clearing that contract his team missed out on a top talent and a ready-made replacement for Davis.