clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Clippings: How the Clippers can fill out the rest of their roster

New, comment

Despite the team’s relative inactivity over the past two days, there isn’t much left to be done.

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The Clippers have been one of the more silent teams during the start of free agency. They have reportedly agreed to only one deal — a two-year contract for Nic Batum — while the rest of the league has moved at a frenetic pace.

But part of the reason the Clippers have been taking their time is there isn’t that much for them to do. Technically, Kawhi Leonard is an unrestricted free agent; however, unless he has a strong desire to play out a 2019 offseason what if and team up with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City, Leonard can’t get paid anywhere close to the max by another team in the league. By default, he will be returning to the Clippers.

A similar situation exists for Reggie Jackson. Now that Danny Green has returned to Philadelphia, there aren’t any teams who can exceed the salary that the Clippers can offer Jackson, and there aren’t any better fits. Like Leonard, it seems like a matter of when — not if — Jackson is back in the fold.

With Leonard and Jackson, the Clippers will have 12 players under contract for the upcoming season, counting Jay Scrubb on a two-way. Presumably, their three draft picks will all make the team; let’s assume Keon Johnson and Jason Preston make the big club while BJ Boston gets a two-way. That puts the Clippers at 15, with two more slots to go.

We still haven’t accounted for Amir Coffey, who appears to be a part of the team’s future plans since he is in Las Vegas with the Summer League squad. Even if the Clippers decide that Coffey or Boston is better suited for the G League, they have at most two roster spots left. Those could go to known veterans like Patrick Patterson, Yogi Ferrell, or DeMarcus Cousins. Or the Clippers could have some fun.

Ideally, the Clippers could use their end of their bench on a project wing, which is kind of what Scrubb and Boston are already, but maybe a player with some more pedigree. Justise Winslow (25 years old) and Isaac Bonga (21) are both unrestricted free agents. Both have flashed rather impressive defensive tools — Winslow legitimately took the ball out of Kawhi’s hands in the paint last February — but need some offensive polishing, and the Clippers are good at that.

If the Clippers are looking for proven players who are more likely to contribute immediately, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Oubre are both available. Oubre even hits the rare sweet spot of being a capable rotation player who is young enough (also 25 years old) to still improve, and L.A. has its mini-midlevel open, even though that would still require Oubre to take a discount.

Unless the Clippers pull off a dramatic surprise, the rest of their free agency will be about as eventful as the start. That isn’t a problem, it’s by design for a team that already has enough pieces to compete for a title. It might be more fun as a fan for the Clippers to have more activity, but it wouldn’t necessarily be prudent.

More news for Thursday: