FanPost

The moves the Clippers will make: a case study

The more I examine the roster composition of the 2011-2012 Clippers, the more I see a roster very similar to the one that the Dallas Mavericks rode to the NBA Championship in 2010-2011. Both teams have:

Let's also not forget that those Mavericks started the season with Caron Butler at the three. Knock on wood.

I figured that, with so many similarities, why not examine the moves the Mavericks made to improve their squad mid-season to give us some sort of idea on what the Clippers might do to improve our squad throughout the season. But first, the actual roster prior to making moves for each team:

Position Clippers Mavericks
Point Guard Chris Paul Jason Kidd
Shooting Guards Chauncey Billups DeShawn Stevenson
Small Forward Caron Butler Shawn Marion
Power Forward Blake Griffin Dirk Nowitzki
Center DeAndre Jordan Tyson Chandler
Sixth man Mo Williams Jason Terry
Rebounding big Reggie Evans Brendan Haywood
Guard Randy Foye JJ Barea
Forward Ryan Gomes Brian Cardinal
Center Solomon Jones Ian Mahinmi

Besides the possible comeback of Eric Bledsoe, whose minutes will likely be limited, there really isn't any more players who are/were getting significant minutes for either squad; and remember, both Beaubois and Butler went down after ~20-30 games.

So how did Dallas improve their squad mid-season?
January 10th - signed Sasha Pavlovic.
January 24th - signed Peja Stojakovic.
March 3rd - signed Corey Brewer.

Following Caron's injury, they recognized that Shawn Marion wasn't quite enough at forward, and went out and signed three different small forwards to try to replace the production they lost...getting three fairly different players: Pavlovic with respectable three point shooting to go along with some defense, Peja as a pure shooter, and Brewer as a pure defender.

While Brewer only got into four playoff games and Pavlovic was gone before the end of January, Peja eventually stuck as a bench shooter -- to the tune of 21 points against the Blazers and , again, against the Lakers; both playoff games. And while Peja disappeared in the Western Finals and the NBA Finals, this was largely a function of the matchup. Meanwhile, with the Blazers and Lakers being two teams that the Clippers could potentially face in the playoffs, and with similar roster compositions to a year ago, the Clippers would do well in copying the Mavericks mid-season additions. Since Gomes does a little of what Brewer and Pavlovic would bring to the table, he's certainly no Peja.

And no, Brian Cook does not pass as Peja Stojakovic either. Peja's a former 24 PPG scorer that knew his present role. Brian Cook almost averaged 8 PPG once, and seemingly believes he's still playing for the University of Illinois as the primary option. Besides, I'm pretty sure his shot knocks paint off-the-rim; I don't want falling paint maiming the legitimate NBA talent on the Clippers's roster.

Possible former stars with an outside shot that could end up traded and/or cut/bought out ala Peja prior to signing with Dallas in January 2011: Mehmet Okur (final year of his contract that pays him $11 MM), Rashard Lewis, and Wilson Chandler -- reportedly, a $500,000 buyout to the Chinese team is necessary. I'd also throw in Carlos Delfino as a thrift addition, as he's set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, shoots roughly 37% from 3, and has been losing minutes in the past few games to Mike Dunleavy.

If Dunleavy ends up pushing Delfino towards the end of Scott Skiles rotation, Delfino reacts negatively, and ends up sinking 21 for the Clippers against that other Los Angeles team in late Spring, we all owe the Dunleavy family a Christmas card.

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