I'm in danger of falling a little behind on my Clipper a Day series. I just haven't been able to get to it today. But given that the roster is down to 15, I now know the exact 15 players I need to cover and I can cut some corners and post on some of the players that are really mysteries to me. That won't take as long as say writing 4,000 words on Corey Maggette. One of those mystery players is Josh Powell.
Josh Powell left North Carolina State after his sophomore year but went undrafted in the 2003 draft. After two productive seasons in Italy, he stuck with Dallas in 2005. Since then, he's been packaged in a couple of trades: he went with Marquis Daniels to Indiana, and then he went with Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington to Golden State. The Clippers signed him as a free agent this summer, his 4th team in his 3rd NBA season.
I can't help but take a swipe at the John Hollinger 'younger is better' mantra in his college player evaluations. Powell was 20 when he declared for the NBA draft. Al Thornton was 23. Of course, Powell had just averaged 12.4 points and 5.3 rebounds a game and was maybe the third best player on his team. By contrast, Thornton led the ACC in scoring. I'm saying, let's look at a player's performance in addition to his age.
I'm also saying I don't get why Josh Powell thought he was NBA material after a season of 12 and 5. Of course, I have no idea what his personal situation was, and maybe he had no choice, but if he had people telling him he was going to get drafted in 2003, those people were clearly wrong.
To his credit, he has worked hard on his game, and he caught the attention of MDsr. The coach has a pretty good record of finding guys that were under the radar who turned out to be solid pros: Bobby Simmons and Quinton Ross come to mind. Powell earned lots of praise through camp, but has not stood out in pre-season games. He's got good size and supposedly he can make a 15 footer, but to be honest, I have not seen him play enough to make an observation about his talent.
The Clippers added a lot of forwards this summer in an attempt to compensate for Elton Brand's absence. (Let's hope they're aware that they can still only play 5 guys at a time. Strictly speaking, they're not really allowed to replace Brand with more than one guy, although that would be nice.) The improved play of Paul Davis and the additions of Al Thornton and Ruben Patterson all look like trouble for Powell at this point. He will probably start the season as the Clippers 13th man, with veteran Aaron Williams taking the 3rd string center and emergency power forward minutes. Still, given MDsr's record with finding previously unnoticed talents, don't count Powell out.
Josh Powell is signed to a minimum deal for three seasons, although I believe the third year is a team option - perhaps even the second year. He's a long shot to develop into a contributor, but he's not costing the team a lot.