The Clippers have a huge hole in the small forward position, I’m sure this is something all Clipper fans can agree on. Ryan Gomes is too inconsistent and hesitant, Al-Farouq Aminu is too raw and young, and Rasual Butler is pretty much out of the rotation right now. With every other position filled, the Clippers desperately need a small forward that can be productive and help generate wins while lessening the offensive pressure that is put on Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon.
The perfect small forward that the team needs would have to be able to play great defensively and also able to hit open shots. My number one target for this slot is of course Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats. He was an all-star last year and was also put on the NBA all defensive first team. He can get steals and blocks and even averaged 2 blocks and 2 steals a game some seasons ago.
Last season he put up all star numbers when he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds a game. He also shot threes at a respectable clip at 37%. He is a player that is great defensively and offensively.
The only knocks on him right now is that he is somewhat injury prone because he is a risk taker on the court. There’s a reason why his nickname is Crash. Last season was the season where he played the most games with 76. With the Clippers injuries history, that could be a problem. Gerald Wallace is also 28 years old and doesn’t really fit in with the whole youth movement that the Clippers are having.
But why does Gerald Wallace fit with the Clippers other than the fact that he is a good small forward? The Clippers never really had a strong defensive stopper on the team before. The last player to be considered good on defense for the team was Marcus Camby and before that was Quinton Ross. Wallace is good enough to guard all the elite NBA players out there and make things difficult for the Lebron James and Carmelo Anthonys of the league.
Offensively, Wallace would be a great compliment to Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Him and Eric Gordon would be a great tandem because both of them can slash into the lane or hit the open three. And the amount of highlight plays the Clippers would have would become insane must watch basketball. Baron Davis can lob the ball and have 3 different receivers with Blake, DJ, and Crash.
What does it take to get Gerald Wallace? His contract doesn’t expire for a while so he is not going to enter the free agent market for a while. That means the only way to get him is through trade. I do not follow the Bobcats enough to know what the team needs or don’t need but I do know what assets the Clippers have. The biggest trade chip is the Minnesota first round draft pick that was acquired many years ago. With the Clippers full of youth and promise, another rookie on the team is not a big need. The team needs more savvy veterans right now to help with all the mental lapses that comes with having young players. The T-Wolves are also trending upwards too with the spectacular play of Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. That pick the Clippers have from them may not be that high when it comes so I think it would be best to trade it now for a high value player. I think the Bobcats would want more than a draft pick for their franchise player though we might have to toss in Aminu or Kaman or maybe even Eric Bledsoe.
Because Gerald Wallace is the franchise player, I doubt he would ever get traded. He doesn’t seem the type to demand a trade from the team and has stuck around the longest. Clippers can only dream of him coming to LA.