Name: Chris Douglas-Roberts
- Key Stats: 1.6 ppg, 24% FG, 14% 3pt, 0 missed free throws, 12 games played
- Age: 28
- Years in the NBA: 6
- Years with the Clippers: 1
- 2014-15 Salary: Veteran’s Minimum
- Contract status: Unrestricted Free Agent
In A Nutshell:
The Clippers biggest need in the 2014 off-season was a starting small forward. After missing out on Paul Pierce to the Wizards, thanks in part to some great recruiting by then Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell, the Clippers decided to spend their mid-level exception on a back up big, signing Spencer Hawes to back up Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. This left the Clippers with little to spend on a possible starting small forward. Doc Rivers chose to take a chance on Chris Douglas-Roberts, who had played a key role in the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets) 1st round playoff battle with the Miami Heat. It was the good old story of a career 4th or 5th option, stepping up for an underdog playoff team and shining in the spotlight, as he was key in the Bobcats defense of Lebron James. The Clippers, hoping to find a diamond in the rough, and possible starting small forward, signed Douglas-Roberts to a 1 year deal for the veteran's minimum. Battling injuries, and struggling to find his shot early in the season, he was relegated to cheerleader, only appearing in 12 games, and only scored 19 points, while shooting a career low 24% from the field. Once Austin Rivers became available, the Clippers shipped him out to Boston, while sending Reggie Bullock to the Suns, in exchange for the coach’s son.
The main strength that has kept Douglas-Roberts in the NBA is his energy. When healthy, he tries to overcome his physical liabilities with hard-nosed play. On top of that, prior to his short run with the Clippers, his career track for 3pt% was trending up, peaking at 37% before joining the team. He was showing signs of becoming a quality backup, and possible 3-and-D small forward.
Size and athleticism. He is tall enough to be a small forward, but at only 200 lbs, he doesn’t have the strength to battle the top small forwards in the NBA, like Lebron James or the height to guard a Kevin Durant. On top of that, he lacks the athleticism to stay in front of a majority of the starting small forwards in the NBA. When he is not hitting the 3 point shot, he becomes a big liability on the court, because he can’t be counted on to finish at the rim.
Future With the Clippers:
The question should be future in the NBA. He has lasted this long by working hard and playing with more heart than his opponents. But as an undersized small forward (or slow shooting guard), he will struggle to continue in the league. He will probably get a chance to audition for a team in the pre-season, but is a long shot to continue his career. Don’t expect a turnaround season like we saw from Jared Dudley with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Favorite Moment from this Year:
The over-hyped "short" shorts. When CDR announced that he would be bring back the "short" basketball shorts to the NBA, many fans thought it would be the return of the John Stockton style basketball uniform. But when he made his preseason debut, we were all disappointed to see that his "short" shorts were only slightly shorter than the average NBA player.