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2013-2014 Clipper Player Previews: Reggie Bullock

For three weeks this preseason, we'll be publishing Player Previews for each of the 13 players with guaranteed contracts with the Clippers. In some cases there may not be much difference from last season's Exit Interviews, but the team does have seven new faces, and there were some significant developments over the off-season for some of the returning players as well, so let's get caught up with all of them before the season starts. First up, rookie Reggie Bullock.


Reggie Bullock college stats last season











For the second straight off-season, the Los Angeles Clippers managed to keep their core intact, while at the same time making some significant roster changes. The Clippers have six new faces with guaranteed contracts -- and a seventh could make the team in training camp, essentially turning over half the roster. Hopefully that's a good thing, assuming the changes are adding missing elements to a team that was good, but not quite good enough last season.

A recurring theme in the off-season changes was perimeter shooting, and it all started with the 25th pick in the June draft. The Clippers grabbed Reggie Bullock from the University of North Carolina, a 6'7 small forward who made .436 of his three pointers during his junior season. There were a few decent looking prospects to chose from when the Clippers were on the clock -- but as of draft night, they were pretty pleased with landing Bullock.

A few weeks later during summer league in Las Vegas, they were even more pleased. In a fortnight of competition that was noteworthy primarily for the rookies who looked awful (it was sophomores like Jonas Valanciunas and Kent Bazemore who played best), Bullock was one of the few first round picks to outperform expectations. Bullock averaged 18 points per game in Vegas and looked very comfortable in doing so.

It won't be easy for a rookie to make a contribution on a top team, and the Clippers are very deep on the wing, making it even less likely that Bullock will get much burn. However, he does have a couple of things working in his favor in terms of being ready to play. For one thing, he stayed in Chapel Hill for three full seasons, something of a rarity for first round picks these days, so he's a mature 22, as opposed to the usual 20 year old rook. For another, during his freshman season with the Tar Heels, he shared the court with four first round picks in the 2011 draft -- so he understands playing a role on a very good team. Unlike most rookies, who arrive with no idea how to be anything other than the focal point on a basketball court, Bullock has done the dirty work, been the defensive stopper, played off the ball. He did it in college, and he can easily step into a 3-D role with the Clippers, working hard on the defensive end and shooting open threes, without getting many touches on offense.

Unfortunately, Bullock has been nursing a sore knee in training camp, so we've yet to see him in pre-season, even on the practice court. Hopefully that will change soon.

With so many solid, experienced wings ahead of him in the rotation, it remains unlikely that Bullock is going to get off the bench a lot. Of course he provides injury depth, and he'll no doubt get a few chances to show what he can do when other players are out. It's also possible that he could register some minutes in small ball lineups, when the Clippers put Jared Dudley or Matt Barnes at the four.

Bullock will get some chances this season. If he plays good defense and hits threes when those chances come, more will follow. If the Clippers are lucky, they may have found a guy who can contribute to a very good team for several years to come.