The Clippers had limited flexibility to add additional players to their roster, and they’ve used one of their final roster spots on a wing prospect.
Adrian Wojnarowski of EPSN reports that the Clippers are signing Justise Winslow to a two-year deal. This could be for the taxpayer midlevel, that last remaining carrot the Clippers had to offer to prospective free agents, or a simple minimum deal.
Free agent G/F Justise Winslow has agreed on a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, his agents Austin Brown and Erika Ruiz of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 6, 2021
Winslow has been with the Memphis Grizzlies for the past year and a half, but he only played 26 games with the team as he has struggled with injuries. Over the past two seasons, Winslow has suited up 37 times.
In addition to availability, Winslow’s offense has been a huge question mark in recent years. He shot 41.9 percent on 2-pointers and 19.8 percent on 3-pointers the last two years, ranking in the bottom percentile of true-shooting percentage in 2020-21. His turnover rate has also been near catastrophic.
But Winslow is still 25 years old and his track record in Miami before the injuries suggests some promise. His assist percentage has always been well above average for his position. The Heat used him as a point forward to some success, including on one memorable night in Los Angeles in December 2018 when he had 21 points and nine assists short-handed Miami team over the Clippers.
Those games have been fewer and far between as Winslow’s injuries have taken over his career. However, while his offense has fallen off a cliff, his defense remains impressive. He is 6’7 and built like a truck, with the strength and quickness to get into opposing players. Look at how he snatches the ball away from Kawhi Leonard during a game in February.
It’s that defensive promise that should excite the Clippers. They’ve reworked their own players’ shots to turn them into a competent offensive players, and maybe the player development staff can work its magic with Winslow too. There is an opening on the wing behind Paul George and Terance Mann to play extended minutes at the start of this season, so Winslow will have an opportunity. His first two NBA stints ended poorly, hopefully the third time’s the charm.