As the Los Angeles Clippers continue their campaign for validity as one of the NBA’s powerhouse teams, they continue to add more pieces to an already diverse roster.
On Feb. 24, the Clippers signed former Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic big man Glen “Big Baby” Davis, adding a bigger body to the second unit, a unit lacking depth when it came to size.
Glen Davis becomes one of many players in LA’s rotation who have found a second (or more) home with the Clippers, creating an “island of misfit toys” feel when looking at the team’s roster.
Let’s take a look at just a few of these players, such as Jamal Crawford, who averages a second-best 22.2 points per 36 minutes for the team.
Though this is Crawford’s sixth team in his 13-year career, the guard’s 22.2 point average is the highest of his career. Crawford’s 37.3 percent shooting from behind the arc since joining the team is also the third-best mark of his career.
It’s not just Crawford, however, who has found a new home and fresh start in Los Angeles.
Another one of those players is former Orlando and Milwaukee Bucks guard J.J. Redick. Though dealing with various injuries all season, the seventh-year man out of Duke University is also averaging a career best in points, posting 19.6 per 36 minutes played. Redick’s 45.9 percent field goal percentage is also a career high for the guard, ranking fifth on the team of players who have played more than 500 minutes this season.
This article could go on and on about players who have found second homes with LA – forward Hedo Turkoglu made the Clippers his seventh team, while Matt Barnes is on his eighth team total, nine if you count his first stint with the Clippers during his rookie season. The Clips are also the fourth team to have signed/traded for point guard Darren Collison.
And now, Los Angeles has also emerged as the favorite to land the former Pacers and (quite briefly) 76ers forward Danny Granger, according to Jason Gold of FanSided’s LA Sports Hub.
However, it isn’t like this has never been seen before. On June 25, 2013, the Clippers traded a 2015 first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for the rights to their head coach, Doc Rivers. Rivers, who won a championship in Boston in 2007-08 and reached the NBA Finals once again in 2009-10, constructed his Boston teams this exact same way.
On Rivers’ 2007-08 championship team, the Celtics were made up of guys like Sam Cassell and Eddie House, both of whom were on their eighth team in the league. And, of course, the core of the Celtics’ dominance alongisde Paul Pierce being guys like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who had found their fair share of success but had never won an NBA championship.
For some guys, it’s not a matter of not being good enough, but rather finding the right system. For guys like Garnett and Allen on the Celtics, and guys like Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and many others in Los Angeles, it is all about the fit – no longer are these guys disappointing starters, but rather important role players who can contribute.
Moving forward, these pieces have created what some believe is a legitimate title contender out in Los Angeles. While they still have yet to prove they can play at the consistency level as that of the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder, it is clear that when it comes to Los Angeles, they are as deep as any other team when it comes to the second unit.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics are courtesy of Basketball Reference.