Name: Nate Robinson
Key Stats: 5.1 ppg, 2.2 apg, 33% FG, 35% 3pt, 9 games played
Years in NBA: 10
Years with Clippers: 1(ish)
2014-15 Salary: Two 10-day contracts, valued at over $150,000 total
Contract Status: Unrestricted FA
In A Nutshell:
The Clippers needed help at both guard positions, with Jordan Farmar being cut loose mid-season and Jamal Crawford going down with injury. Austin Rivers did his best, but was not a complete enough player to carry the bench, and hopes were high that an established "spark" role player like Nate Robinson could assist a futile LAC backup platoon. Instead, he was underwhelming in limited chances (14 minutes a night in 9 games), shooting a dismal 33% from the field and often times looking as though he had nothing left. Being beat up was just enough to sway Doc Rivers' decision to not keep him after his second 10-day deal, and so the two sides parted ways.
Nate's career reputation might not scream efficient, but 42% from the field and 35% from deep for his career isn't awful for a player with questionable shot selection, and the 5'9" guard's ability to change games off the bench with his pesky energy is well-documented. Clippers fans, and the front office, hoped that Robinson could overcome injury struggles in recent seasons to bring that same level of production to a volatile second unit situation, and some thought that Robinson should have been kept, and would have been the best use of a roster spot going forward and into the playoffs, where a lack of depth was certainly the team's undoing.
Robinson just wasn't very good on the Clippers. He looked slow and he didn't hit shots at even a respectable rate, attempting 14.6 shots per 36 while shooting a 33% clip. Even if his sparkplug personality had been working, it's unlikely that a player of his nature would have been the steadying veteran hand that the Clippers needed off the bench. More likely, Robinson would have somehow found a way to assist Jamal Crawford into strangling the second unit's hopes of getting a moderately efficient shot on most of their possessions. Unfortunately, however, we were never to know if peak Nate Robinson would have helped the dismal Clippers reserves, because even instead of getting the expected player, with some major flaw and some major strengths, the Clippers found themselves with a scoring guard who couldn't make more than a third of his shots.
Future With the Clippers:
If Robinson has a future career in the NBA, I doubt that he'll find a resting spot with the Clippers considering the failed experiment this season. If he decides to retire, he's certainly a personality that will be welcomed by the TV crews, but if he attempts to return toIn the league as I expect, the only avenue that I see the Clippers finding him again would be in a similar situation, looking for an injury fill-in or extra spark late in the season, and hoping that one of Doc's old Boston players might do the trick.
Favorite Moment from this Year:
In his highest scoring effort of his 9-game Clippers stint, Robinson scored 12 points on 4-10 shooting and 2-5 from three against Charlotte in a Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes-less game, finishing 5th on the team in minutes and scoring off the bench.