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Robert Covington has the tools to be Clippers’ small ball center

Robert Covington is thriving among the good vibes with the Clippers, and he has all the attributes to play a big role in his new home.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers
Robert Covington looking at the other title contending teams.
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers will be happier than ever with the culture they’ve cultivated this week. Seeing the guys so happy and united in practice means a lot to us as fans, knowing that the vibes are good, but it should also mean positive things in their push to challenge for a title.

Certain guys seem to especially thrive off that spirit, and it’s no coincidence that from day one after he arrived from the Portland Trail Blazers, Robert Covington has looked like he belongs on this squad. His subsequent performances cemented that he had a role to play within the squad, but the noises he’s made about just how well he has settled into life with the Clippers will be music to the ears of fans.

What is the best-case scenario for Covington?

Besides Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, it feels like places in Ty Lue’s closing lineups this season are still completely up for grabs. With that being said, there’s no reason that Covington should feel he can’t nail down one of those spots, whether it be as a four or as the Clippers small ball five.

Though Marcus Morris Sr. was confirmed this week as the power forward to start the season, the coaching staff have never shown themselves to be shy of making changes. However, even if RoCo can’t dislodge Mook, his rim protection — which he displayed this week with a huge block on Anfernee Simons — can make him a valuable undersized center for the team.

What is the worst-case outcome?

One of the things that Covington has struggled for in his career is consistency, evidenced by the fact that he’s never felt quite like he’s found a home in the NBA. Though it seems he has now found that in L.A., if he falls back into a situation where he is struggling to establish consistency on the court, then things could quite quickly become unsettled for the 31-year-old.

What do you think is the most-likely role for Covington?

RoCo has everything in his arsenal to become the Clippers backup center. Though there is likely to be a lot of chopping and changing this season while Ty figures out his best lineups and what works against certain opponents, it feels like the former Trail Blazer has an advantage over both Morris and Batum in terms of what he can bring at the five.

The aforementioned rim protection, his ability in the passing lanes, his consistency with the three ball during his time with the Clippers — It all bodes well for him securing that spot. But it will also be to the benefit of the team if they can get the best out of him in that role.

If the franchise can comeback from years of disappointment to make a serious splash this season, it will be in big part to the comeback stories of guys like Roco which have helped bring a real desire and determination to the team.