The Los Angeles Clippers are quietly on the hunt to improve their squad.
Roughly 48 hours after the Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks agreed on a deal to swap forward Jared Dudley and a protected 2017 first round pick for guard Carlos Delfino, center Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second-round pick, the Clippers have decided to waive Raduljica and use the stretch provision on what’s remaining in Delfino’s contract.The result is a melodramatic $3 million or so cleared in cap space which places the Clippers under the tax apron, allowing for more wiggle room to offer a few free agents minimum contracts. Popular names that have since been thrown out after the commencement of Steve Ballmer’s purchase, Doc Rivers extension and the Dudley trade have been Ray Allen and Epke Udoh.
While nothing is imminent, the Clippers have interest in both free agents.
One player who’s popping up on the Clippers radar is Chris Douglas-Roberts. With a need to upgrade at the small forward position, and a greater need for a lock down defender with a long wingspan, the Clippers could be looking to Douglas-Roberts to fill their vacancy.
While he’s no premier defender at the moment, with Rivers’ commitment to be in Los Angeles for another five years, taking on another project is a viable option at the moment. After all it was Rivers who empowered DeAndre Jordan last season on the defensive end, resulting in Defensive Player of the Year award consideration for the big man.
Douglas-Roberts, a 27-year-old shooting guard, averaged 6.9 points and 20.7 minutes for the Charlotte Hornets last season, appearing in 49 games. At 6’7″ he’s capable of defending the shooting guard and small forward positions very well.
He hit 44 percent of his shots from the field, 38.6 from 3 and 80.5 percent from the line. Rather than being impressive, he’s been consistent.
In five seasons, he’s averaged 7.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.
Although the Hornets scored 10 fewer points with Douglas-Roberts on the floor last season, the Clippers aren’t in need of a volume scorer at the 3 position. While the Clippers have three big guns on offense with J.J. Redick, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the small forward position has become expendable on the offensive side of the ball.
Unfortunately for the Clippers their defense doesn’t match the talent on the offensive end.
The addition of Douglas-Roberts has the potential to change that.
The only risk in adding Douglas-Roberts is the fact that he’s never appeared in more than 67 games in a season during his five-year NBA career. Last season, the Clippers experienced a descent from top of the Western Conference to middle of the pack after a slew of injuries which put a damper in production.
To contend for a title they’ll need all of their players to perform in at least 70 games each — the players that matter.
The potential addition of Douglas-Roberts is pretty bland to me. I don’t see much of a difference between him and Matt Barnes, other than the amount of games played. Perhaps Doc Rivers has something greater on the horizon and Douglas-Roberts can potentially serve as Barnes’ replacement, not his teammate.