Clippers Sign Brian Skinner

Continuing their very active off-season, the Clippers today signed former Clipper Brian Skinner.  Here's the press release:

The Los Angeles Clippers signed veteran forward Brian Skinner, Vice President of Basketball Operations announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Originally drafted by the Clippers in the first round (22nd overall pick) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Skinner is a 10-year NBA veteran who returns to Los Angeles after playing 66 games last season with the Phoenix Suns. Skinner averaged 3.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists for Phoenix in 2007-08.

“Brian Skinner is a veteran NBA player who will give us both size and depth in the middle,” Baylor said. “We are familiar with Brian, and know that he will be a good fit in his return to the Clippers.”

Skinner has averaged 4.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 538 career NBA games with eight different teams. The six-foot-nine forward started his career with the Clippers in 1998-99 and played three seasons in Los Angeles.

“We are very pleased to add Brian to our front line,” Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He adds great size, presence and veteran experience to our team.”

In addition to the Clippers and Suns, the Texas native has also played for Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Portland during his NBA tenure and has played in 21 career playoff games

Is anyone else struck by the symmetry?  He left the Clippers as part of the trade that brought Brand to LA, and he signs with the Clippers as a free agent after Brand bolts to Philly.

I always liked Skinner.  Of course, we're all unrealistic dreamers or we wouldn't be Clipper fans, but does anyone else recall how great he was playing before he twisted his ankle in 2000?  He was never the same for the Clippers after that, and hasn't gotten much of a chance anywhere else.

Obviously the team decided that they could take Josh Powell's spot and use it on a veteran.  Given that Powell did not seem to have a whole lot of head room, I think it's the correct decision.  Opting for a 32 year old over a 25 year old is the move of a team that wants to compete now.  But I didn't really see Powell getting a whole lot better.  Sometimes youth represents potential, and sometimes it just represents youth.

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