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Is Doc Still Looking For a Backup Point Guard?

A report came out on twitter that Doc Rivers is still interested in signing a veteran point guard to backup Chris Paul. Unfortunately, the Clippers roster is now full. Here are a few ways Doc could create a roster spot space for his backup of choice.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the signing of Marreese Speights, the Clippers now have 15 potential players on their roster. This counts Branden Dawson, whose contract is unguaranteed for next season, and the two second round rookies this year, David Michineau and Diamond Stone, who technically haven't signed contracts. Also among the 15: veteran Paul Pierce, who still hasn't made his decision on retirement. With that said, here are the easiest ways for Doc to clear a spot for a veteran backup point guard (which, make no mistake, the Clippers could really use).

Trade Away CJ Wilcox or Branden Dawson: Now, neither of these players probably have much trade value, but there are teams out there who might want to take a chance on them. All the Clippers would likely get back is a protected 2nd round pick (maybe an unprotected for Wilcox), though it's possible they could actually get a point guard from another team in the trade.

Cut Dawson: This is the simplest and perhaps most likely option. Dawson's contract hasn't been guaranteed yet, so the Clippers wouldn't lose any money by cutting him. Dawson played just 29 NBA minutes last season, and didn't exactly dominate the D-League either. So far in Summer League, Dawson is averaging 6.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1 assist in 19 minutes per game, and shooting 59% from the field. Not bad numbers, certainly, and his game looks improved, but he probably hasn't done anything to make him a must-keep for Doc.

Stash Michineau (or Stone) overseas: Right after the draft, Doc said he wanted all three rookies on the roster this upcoming season. However, due to the way free agency worked out, it's possible that Doc changed his mind on this matter. Michineau has shown flashes of potential and outstanding play in Summer League, but by no means does he look ready for real NBA action. Stone has had some bad moments too, but he plays at a position of much greater need, and is less likely to throw everything out of balance when he steps on the court. The addition of Speights does push Stone out of the pre-season rotation, making him a little less important this year. Therefore, it's possible Michineau (or Stone) spends this season overseas. It will come down to whether Doc would rather have them under his eye on the bench and practicing with the team or actually getting substantial minutes in Europe. I still think Michineau is the much more likely option to be stashed: the Clippers have a variety of players who can at least theoretically get point guard minutes, while Stone is only one injury away from a spot in the rotation.

Paul Pierce Retires: This is Pierce's decision of course, and it is going to be a sad one when it happens. Pierce is a Hall of Fame player, and the NBA will be worse without him. But he appeared to have nothing left last season, and it would probably be better for his legacy to hang the sneakers up now. If Doc really wants that roster space, he could maybe offer Pierce an incentive or two to retire: a space on the coaching staff or in the front office perhaps? Pierce's veteran presence on the team would remain, but a space would be available for a player who is actually likely to play real minutes and contribute positively.

Of course, it's also possible Doc doesn't sign a backup point guard and just rolls into the season with the roster he has now. As long as he plays Blake Griffin substantial minutes with the bench, having Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford as the primary ball-handlers is less of a problem. If need be, CJ Wilcox can play some point guard in a pinch, and Michineau would always be available at the last resort (or if Doc actually wants to give him minutes).