Name: Lester Hudson
Key Stats: 11.2 mpg, 3.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 42.9/50/75 shooting splits, 5 games played (season)
: 5.4 mpg, 2.0 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 42.9/28.6 shooting splits (no FTA), 7 games played (playoffs)
Years in NBA: 4
Years with Clippers: 6 weeks
2014-2015 Salary: $55,774
Contract Status: Non-Guaranteed salary of $1,015,421. Can't be traded until July 11, but if cut by July 15, will be owed no money next year.
In a Nutshell:
Lester Hudson was signed by the Clippers on a 10 day contract on March 29, 2015. He replaced previous 10 day contract signee Nate Robinson as the team's 3rd string point guard, and was only picked up because of Jamal Crawford's injury, which left the backcourt a little bit spare. Hudson had been out of the NBA since 2012 playing in China, where he was the CBA MVP in 2014. He was on a few summer league and training camp rosters in the intervening years, but had never cracked an NBA 15 man roster until the Clips brought him in. Doc liked him for his "toughness and defense" over Nate, and Hudson is indeed a much bigger player at 6'3. However, Hudson only played in 5 regular season games, all of them blowouts. He was solid enough, shooting the ball relatively well and not turning it over much, but only had one really impactful game against the Phoenix Suns. Hudson played in more games (but fewer minutes per game) in the playoffs, and actually got a handful of 2nd quarter minutes early in the Houston series while Chris Paul was hurt.
Hudson, as mentioned above, is a somewhat large point guard at 6'3 and 190 pounds, giving him a nice size advantage at the position. Doc wanted him over Robinson (more of an established name) due to his defense, which he must have seen in practices. In the NBA he never really played enough to get a large scouting report, but in brief minutes with the Clippers he seemed to have a decent nose for the ball, snagging 1.2 steals a game in limited regular season minutes. In college, however, he was a do-it-all point who recorded the first quadruple double in NCAA history with University of Tennessee Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Again, it's hard to tell on such a limited NBA resume, especially when Hudson is so accomplished elsewhere, but I would have to say shooting. Hudson has taken 101 3 pointers in his short NBA career, and has only made 28. NBA teams always need shooters, and if Hudson connected more from deep he would probably have found a way to stick in a rotation somewhere, especially with his size. He also does not appear to be a great playmaker, as despite winning the CBA MVP in 2014, he only averaged 4.9 assists from the point guard position.
Future with the Clippers:
Hudson was just offered a 2 million dollar deal by the Chinese team Liaoning, with whom he won the MVP, and played for in 2015 as well. While he has a non-guaranteed deal with the Clippers for next season, my guess is that he gets waived before the July 15 date. It's possible that Doc really likes him as an end of the bench guy and he sticks around, but I think Hudson goes back to China next year. Of course, after the Chinese season is over in 2016, Hudson will come back looking for more NBA deals, and would have an increased chance with the Clippers due to familiarity if they happen to be in need of a point guard.
Favorite Moment from this Year:
It has to be game 2 of the Rockets-Clippers series, where Hudson actually saw time in the 2nd quarter and played over 11 minutes in the Clippers loss. He hit 2-3 shots including his only 3 pointer, and finished with 5 points, 2 assists, a block, and a steal. His energy gave the Clippers a little bit of a boost in that quarter, and what more can you ask for from an end of the year pickup?