As soon as he arrived, he was gone. The Los Angeles Clippers announced via press release that they have released veteran guard Carlos Delfino, who is now an unrestricted free agent. The move was expected so that the Clippers could target some specific veterans, but Delfino could prove to be a worthy pickup in his own right.
The problem with Delfino at this point is the fact that he’s still recovering from his most recent surgery — his second on his right foot — that has kept him out of the NBA since the 2012-13 season.
When healthy, Delfino is a quality shooter with excellent size (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) who is not afraid to take big shots. He was a perfect fit for the “Morey Ball” system in Houston, where he scored 10.6 points with 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game in 25.2 minutes. He shot 37.5 percent from the 3-point line and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe.
There’s no question that Delfino is a pretty one-dimensional player, and that’s not going to change if he’s hobbled by his foot. He’s still just 32 years old (as of today — Happy Birthday, you’re waived) and if he can get himself into game shape before the middle of the 2014-15 season, he’ll be a great pickup for a contender that could use more outside shooting.
Should the Clippers have held onto him? No, they wanted to shed his salary so that they could bring in veterans for the minimum. However, if Delfino gets healthy and finds his way back to form, they’ll wish they had him.
Carlos is the perfect kind of player for a team that has a slashing point guard with strong inside play. The Clippers definitely fit that bill, though we can’t blame them for looking for a player who can help immediately. Personally, I think every team would love to have a healthy Delfino, but until he’s able to show the league that he is back, he’s not going to get many calls.