Olowokandi lost ground after lost year

Early last season, Michael Olowokandi had no idea he'd become a casualty of the 2003 offseason.

Updated: July 16, 2003, 9:57 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
On Oct. 30, 2002, Michael Olowokandi scored 18 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked two shots on 9-for-18 shooting in the first game of the season. Two games later, it was 19 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks against the Pistons. A week later, it was 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Magic.

He was peaking and had no idea he would become, perhaps, the biggest casualty of the 2003 offseason.

It was only six games into the new 2002 season and the Los Angeles Clipper center was making good on his agent's claim that he was, indeed, the second best-center in the league. The year before, he had averaged career highs in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and fully believed that the bidding for a restricted free agent averaging 11.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks would begin at $12 million a season, or the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.