Misc

With Paul On Board, Can The Clippers Keep Dealing?

The Chris Paul deal left the Clippers’ roster looking a little weird.  (Well, weird to everyone except the point-guard-obsessed David Kahn, GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves.)

The Clippers’ roster now has four point guards:

  • Chris Paul
  • Chauncey Billups
  • Mo Williams
  • Eric Bledsoe (recovering from knee surgery)
In terms of pure 2-guards, all the Clips have is Randy Foye and Travis Leslie, a second rounder out of the University of Georgia.  That sounds bad, but keep in mind that Chauncey Billups played the 2 for the U.S. National Team in Turkey, and Mo Williams can play some shooting guard as well.  Neither player is a defensive juggernaut, but shooting guard isn’t as big a need as it might seem.
Small forward is in decent shape, thanks to Caron Butler and Ryan Gomes.
It’s the Clippers’ frontcourt is the really frightening right now, for two reasons.  One:  LOB CITY!!!  Two:  Other than Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers don’t have any big men.  Check out their roster and tell me who’s their backup power forward?  How about their backup center?
Here’s what Clipperblog says about the Clips’ frontcourt woes:
Their biggest need is a back-up big man, preferably a center. [Free agent Brian] Cook is a decent option, but you’d want him as your fourth or fifth big, not your third. Craig Smith and/or Ike Diogu could be brought back, but both are undersized fours and wouldn’t address the team’s need for size. If anything Gomes can play 10-12 minutes per night behind Blake, filling up all 48 minutes at the 4. They need a 7-footer to give Jordan a 15-20 minute break at the very least.
In addition to Cook, Smith, and Diogu — who appear to be free agents right now — six-foot-ten rookie second-rounder Trey Thompkins is playing well in camp. So that’s something.
If the Clippers are going to get through 66 games in 120 days and then be a threat in the playoffs, they’d better find a way to fill out their frontcourt.
Can they do that? Maybe trade some of their point-guard depth or sign a few free agents?  Keep in mind that NBA rules dictate that Billups can’t be traded this year.
Here are some fun ideas:
  • Tom Haberstroh of the Heat Index suggests trading Eric Bledsoe for J.J. Redick.
  • In the same article, John Hollinger suggests trading Mo Williams for “a real shooting guard.”
  • Twitter’s buzzing with suggestions that the Clips are trying to move Foye and Williams.
  • Bill Simmons had an awesome proposal yesterday on Twitter:  Mo Williams for Mehmet Okur.
  • There’s talk the Clips might amnesty Mo Williams.
  • And the Clips already have a $2.5 million “room exception” to sign another player.
The Clippers front office hit a home run with the Paul trade, but it has more work to do before the roster is balanced and has any legitimate depth.
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