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The Clippers Have Kawhi and Paul George: What Else Do They Need to Fill Out the Roster?

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The Clippers now have two superstars — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more moves to be made.

LA Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers acquired two superstar players last night in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This dynamic duo will make the Clippers a force to be reckoned with for years to come, and a potential favorite to win the NBA Championship as soon as this year. However, while their roster is mostly filled in, there are still some holes left. Let’s take a look at the current depth chart and see what else needs to happen the rest of this summer.

Starting Lineup: Pat Beverley - Landry Shamet - Kawhi Leonard - Paul George - Ivica Zubac

Reserves: Lou Williams - Jerome Robinson - Rodney McGruder - Mo Harkless - Montrezl Harrell

Depth: Sindarius Thornwell - Terance Mann - Mfiondu Kabengele

There are two things that jump out right away. First, the Clippers are thin at point guard. Right now, they only have one true point on the roster, Pat Beverley, with the rest of their guards being purer off-ball players or combo guards. Second, the Clippers are also a bit weak at big men positions: Ivica Zubac is fine for the regular season, but he was played off the court in the playoffs, and the only other reliable big man on the roster is Montrezl Harrell, who is better suited off the bench. If one of those guys go down, the Clippers would have to give big minutes to Mfiondu Kabengele. Fi is a good prospect, but he’s a raw rookie, and will almost certainly not be ready to play real minutes for a championship contender right away. There’s also a bit of a weakness at power forward, or a guy who could play a true small-ball center, but the Clippers have enough big wings that they should manage ok.

Let’s say that Mann will be on a two-way deal. That leaves the Clippers with three open roster spots to fill, with the room exception and two minimum slots available.

Ironically, even though he’s not a true center nor a point guard, I think JaMychal Green has to be a priority. He was excellent for the Clippers last year in the playoffs, is already familiar with the squad, and brings tough interior defense as well as three-point shooting. Hopefully, the Clippers can sign him to the room exception. That leaves point guard and a true center for the minimum slots. Here are a few names that the Clippers should consider (or will be linked to).

Point Guard

Rajon Rondo - No.

Trey Burke - Burke is a decent NBA bench scorer who can make some plays for others, and keeps turnovers down. He’s not all that efficient (though he’s not inefficient either), and is not a brilliant playmaker, but he’s a steady hand at point guard. His biggest weakness is defensively, but the Clippers have the wing defense to make up for him.

Chasson Randle - Randle is kind of like a lesser version of Burke. He won’t make many mistakes, and is fine bringing the ball up the floor, but leaves a lot to be desired as a playmaker and defender. He is, however, a pretty solid shooter.

Shelvin Mack - Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Mack is a limited passer and playmaker who won’t embarrass himself as a point guard in rotation minutes, but doesn’t offer much of excitement in the role. See Randle, Chasson, and Burke, Trey (though I do think Burke is a bit better than the other two).

Raymond Felton - We are already at the point of returning to Clippers of yore, and it’s not even a glorious yore. Felton has been a fine third-string point guard for the Thunder the past two years, but his days of playing real minutes are probably behind him. It would be good to see the Pudge God in a Clippers uniform again, though.

Jeremy Lin - Lin was pretty good for the Hawks the first half of last season, but mostly dreadful for the Raptors down the stretch. His ability to get to the basket makes him stand out from the rest of this bunch, but his best days are well behind him. He will also likely command more than the minimum, and just won a ring, so a destination with the Clippers doesn’t seem likely.

Center

Dwight Howard - No.

Khem Birch - Yes please. Birch, as I wrote about already, is an excellent center who doesn’t appear to have all that much a future in Orlando. That said, as a restricted free agent, they would certainly match an offer for the minimum.

Ekpe Udoh - We’re back to former Clippers! Udoh has been vastly overqualified as a third string center in Utah the past two seasons, and would fill a similar role in Los Angeles. He’s also an experienced veteran and a great locker room presence who Doc Rivers could trust in big moments when Zubac might quake. I kind of like this one.

Joakim Noah - Hear me out. After two lost seasons with the Knicks, Noah had a bounceback season with the Grizzlies last year, and it was glorious. He’s not as athletic as he once was, but he remains a brilliant defensive player who can make plays from the post or the top of the key, and was decent finishing around the rim last year. Noah too might get more than the minimum, but as a vet who already made a lot of money and doesn’t have a ring, he’s a prime candidate to join the Clippers. And honestly, even playing with Pat Beverley would be phenomenal.

What do you think of these names? Was there anyone I missed?