Vinny Del Negro said at exit interviews that, “there is a lot of work to be done” this off-season. At least this off-season there is time to do it in. Last year, the NBA players did not even know if there was going to be a season until very shortly before it all started. The condensed schedule allowed for almost no practices as well, so teams were forced to adjust on the fly.
No team had more to adjust to than the Clippers, because they were trying to work in newly traded-for Chris Paul and adjust to his strengths and abilities. It will be intriguing to see if Paul and Blake Griffin can continue to develop their chemistry this summer in the Olympics. It could be an underrated reason for believing the dynamic duo will come running out of the gates at the beginning of next year. Whether the Clippers will start the 2012-2013 season off with a bang will be largely determined by the front office’s roster moves.
Neil Olshey believes the Clippers need to add a starting shooting guard and perimeter shooting big man. “I think we got exposed a little bit with our size at the two,” Olshey said. “I think we need to get more of a traditional two-guard, one that can guard size with a post game. We’re going to need to add a third big that can stretch the floor. I think we became a little predictable at the end of the season. We were such a power team, we were kind of playing hockey at times, throwing it up and the glass and trying to go get it.
“I think our third big has got to be someone who can play with both Blake and DJ [DeAndre Jordan], step away from the hoop with Blake, play with DeAndre, someone who can facilitate, run things through the high post. And we’ll address those things via trade, via free agency.”
The Clippers don’t really have the option of addressing those positions with the draft, because they only have a second round(53rd) selection. They likely won’t be able to get a starter there, so it will be revealing who the Clippers go after in free-agency. Ray Allen anybody?
And then as far as a sweet shooting big man, Brandon Bass(to keep with the Celtics theme) has been money for the Celtics and could stretch the floor for the Clippers. He has a player option on his contract, so it that will determine whether he is an option for the Clips. Antawn Jamison will be an unrestricted free agent as well, and could be a serviceable bench player for the team.