clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Clips Nation Roundtable: Grading the Mike Scott Signing

The Clippers added forward Mike Scott in free agency this July, and the Clips Nation staff is here to grade the move.

Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Eric Patten: B

Scott shot a career-best 40.5 percent from deep last year, his only season in Washington. As a backup 4 who can stretch defenses, he’s a good fit for the Clippers. Oddly, he might have been an even better fit for the Lob City era teams that struggled to find useable backup bigs and tried every conceivable long-shot as a stretchy 4/5. Scott makes the Clippers deeper and can be a part of some interesting offensive lineups. Defensively, at least Scott is not a liability. He was not a plus-defender last year, but his defensive rating was better than Kelly Oubre, among other Wizards regular reserves. So, it stands to reason that it was a bad unit in general. Overall, Scott, 30, is the type of addition a contending team makes to fill out a roster. For the Clippers, to contend, they’ll need maybe a little more than that.

Robert Flom: B

I’m not crazy about the Clippers trying to compete next year in a tough Western Conference without a star player by signing win-now veterans, but Mike Scott is a good NBA player, and nabbing him for $4.3 million on one year is good value. While he’s another older veteran (just turned 30 a few weeks ago) who isn’t in the long-term plans of the team, I don’t mind their signing him because he isn’t blocking any young player from minutes. Instead, Scott will be filling in for the minutes provided largely by Wes Johnson and Sam Dekker last year, and he’s a far better option than either of those two.

In fact, while Scott probably won’t play more than 15 minutes in most games, he’s actually quite a snug fit on the Clippers’ reserve unit. His outside shooting is a perfect complement to the Lou Williams-Montrezl Harrell pick and roll, and his shaky defense will be helped by the presence of Luc Mbah a Moute. Scott will stretch the floor, do some dirty work when called upon, and can fill in capably for bigger minutes if needed. He’s an ideal backup power forward in today’s NBA, and is well worth his price. And, if the Clippers are ready to tear the team down by mid-season, it should be easy to flip him for a 2nd round pick, barring injury or a catastrophically poor year from him.

Kenneth Armstrong: B-

I am largely agnostic on this deal, and Mike Scott in general. He is an efficient shooter (though our Bullets Forever friend Jake cautioned against too much optimism about his shooting percentages); he’s versatile, playing Small Forward through Center; and, finally, he’s been around the league for a while, which means he’s not a locker room cancer and knows how to play in a system.

Am I excited to see Scott on the floor, though? Not particularly. He’s on a one-year deal and I doubt the Clippers see him being part of their long-term plans. And with the wide range of possibilities for this Clippers’ season -- from sneaking into the playoffs to tanking -- I still don’t see a scenario in which Scott is relevant in Clips Nation’s consciousness. Perhaps this is my ignorance showing, but I just don’t see this move being a value-added for this Clippers team.

Lucas Hann: C+

Look, Mike Scott is a good player, and at $4.3M, he’s a good value signing. He makes the team better, he rounds out the rotation nicely as a shooter, and he was added in a very cost-effective way--half of the mid-level exception. But ultimately for this Clippers team, he’s not a needle-mover, and for a lottery team, it doesn’t make sense to utilize any resources whatsoever on one-year deals for 30-year-olds who don’t move the needle. The team could have used Scott’s roster spot and the mid-level (or a portion of it) on offering multi-year team-friendly deals to buy-low young players (like Tyrone Wallace, who remains a restricted free agent well into August). Instead, they used a valuable tool on a move that is almost guaranteed to never matter in terms of post-season or championship success. Scott is almost definitely going to play one year as a Clipper, maybe help them win 38 games instead of 36, and then bounce to another team when the Clippers use cap space to pursue big free agents next summer. He doesn’t give them a cost-controlled piece to put around those stars, and his presence (instead of playing the likes of Wesley Johnson, Sam Dekker, or any number of potential G-League guys) will only cause the team to have a worse draft pick in what will be their first sub-.500 season since 2011.

Max Jeffrey: B+

Given the collective lack of salary cap space remaining when free agency began this offseason, it’s not as though the Clippers acquiring the services of Mike Scott for 1 year/$4.3 million was an absolute steal. But Scott, an excellent backup combo forward, will certainly give them meaningful minutes. Last season with the Wizards, he was exceptionally productive in his roughly 18 minutes per game, averaging 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 52.7% shooting from the field and 40.5% shooting from three. And because of his size and consistency at both ends of the floor, he can switch in and out of various lineups, providing the Clippers with some much-needed flexibility for a guard-heavy rotation.