Name: Pablo Prigioni
Age: 38 (turns 39 May 17th)
Key Stats: 13.9 minutes per game in 59 games, 6.3 points, 5.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per 36 minutes. 29.5% from three-point range.
Years in the NBA: 4
2015-16 Salary: Veteran's minimum of $981,348
Future Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent. Clippers have non-bird rights.
Summary: When Pablo fell in the Clippers' laps late in the summer, it was pretty lucky. The team's roster was already seemingly set, but when Prigioni was sent from Houston to Denver in the Ty Lawson trade, the Nuggets cut Pablo and he made perfect sense for a team that didn't have a third-string option at PG, and whose backup was Austin Rivers (more of a combo guard). He only came into the NBA a few years ago, at age 35, but he had a reputation as a solid, steady, savvy veteran point guard.
Strengths: Pablo's patience, smarts, and vision are his best attributes. He doesn't particularly wow you with anything he does on the court, but he has a great feel for the game, seemingly always making the right pass, deferring to scorers like Jamal Crawford and finishers like Cole Aldrich. Defensively he was surprisingly solid, definitely outmatched against starting guards but using pressure and smarts against backups to stay playable at age 38. Additionally, he's well known for poaching steals on inbounds plays in the backcourt, which consistently lead to layups.
Weaknesses: Some of Pablo's weaknesses, like a tendency to overpass or shy away from shots, have followed him his whole career. Rather than a true weakness, they're just a stylistic preference. Some of his weaknesses are obvious for an old, small guard--he had a very hard time getting past his man on offense without a screen, and he didn't do much going to the basket, letting defenders sag off of him, cover the roll man, and stick on shooters. The one weakness that was most surprising was his shooting. Over 2.5 seasons in New York, Pablo shot 41% from deep. In his 24-game stint as a Houston Rocket last year, and his season with the Clippers, he failed to hit 30%. The drop-off from elite to below-average is fairly pronounced, and a player who was expected to be a reliable option to space the floor was anything but that.
Future with the Clippers: The door is certainly open for Pablo to return to the Clippers. He has an old man style to his game, but he still looked like a capable NBA player throughout the season, unlike other late 30's guys who can sometimes barely move. As a depth signing, he's solid, but one can't help but think that from an asset perspective, it makes more sense to add one of the many young, minimum-level point guards floating around.
Favorite Moment as a Clipper: I'm going to have to copy Niels' C.J. Wilcox post from yesterday and say that Pablo's best moment as a Clipper came in the not-comeback against the Warriors, where the all-bench squad went on a furious last-minute surge to turn a double-digit game into a one-possession game. Prigioni hit two threes and had a steal in that minute stretch.