The Los Angeles Clippers were able to improve their roster last season by nabbing Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, despite Billups season-ending injury, the Clippers were able to advance out of the first round. However, with the Los Angeles Lakers having an A++ off-season, how did the Clippers do?
Additions and Subtractions: Drafted Furkan Aldemir; re-signed Chauncey Billups, Blake Griffin; signed Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Willie Green, Ronnie Turiaf, Grant Hill, Ryan Hollins; lost Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Nick Young, Reggie Evans
The Clippers off-season was hushed behind their big brother’s enormous off-season, but the fact is, the Clippers are a playoff contender now. Yes, they may not be able to contend with the Lakers or the Oklahoma City Thunder for Western Conference supremacy, but they are making strides on the building a winning team front.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.
Lamar Odom may have had his worst statistical season last year with the Dallas Mavericks (6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists), after all it was assumed after being very emotional about being let go by the Lakers, as I am sure it was a kick in the gut. However, redemption was sweet when Odom and the Clippers agreed to terms and this gives Odom a chance not to return to his former team, but also get back in the groove again.
As much as I want to laugh at Odom, this could be the right environment for him to reclaim his sixth man role.
Jamal Crawford, the swinging shooter, also signed with the Clippers this summer. They lost Nick Young when he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, so the gunner position was open, and Crawford — despite shooting a measly 38.4% last season — should fill out nicely.
Grant Hill signed onto the team and he does offer a second veteran presence along with Chauncey Billups, if he’s chasing a ring, he probably signed with the wrong Los Angeles team.
The other additions will add depth, but the main focus are the starters and the players aforementioned.
Health is key for the two players L.A re-signed: Billups and Blake Griffin. Blake Griffin missed out on the Olympics due to a meniscus tear, and while he was recently on court posterizing a few players for his alma mater, University of Oklahoma, there’s still an underlying issue if Griffin’s knees are durable for the long-haul.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a nice core, mixed in some essential pieces, and while they may not win the WC this season, they have put themselves in the position to advance past the first round this season.
Final Grade: B+