It’s the time of the year where your favorite big name publications are ranking players. Each time a Los Angeles Clippers player is listed we’ll inform you.
This time it’s Sports Illustrated’s “The Point Forward” as they’re choices for the top 100 players coming into the 2013-14 season. This week they’ve published the best players from 100-50 and Clippers players Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and the newly acquired J.J. Redick appear on the list. Here’s what Ben Golliver had to say about the players:
#97 – Matt Barnes
How many players come off as detestable as Barnes while also achieving “He can play for my team any day” status? Not a lot. His bad-boy persona and off-court drama might have cost him real money as a free agent in 2012, but he played his way into a nice three-year, $10.2 million payday this summer. The Clippers had some choices to make about who stays and who goes after their first-round exit, and retaining Barnes appears to have been a top priority. One of the league’s most notorious instigators, Barnes is a pesky defender who can contribute offensively without needing the ball. He posted a healthy +6.8 net rating and his 2012-13 PER and Win Shares both represented career highs. Nothing he does is pretty, and not much of what he says is fit to print, but he’s the type of nuisance role player who makes sense for a veteran-dominated team looking to win now.
#82 – J.J. Redick
Redick’s midseason trade from Orlando to Milwaukee turned out to be a disappointing mess. His numbers dropped across the board with the Bucks and he even admitted to reporters during the playoffs that he wasn’t really on speaking terms with interim coach Jim Boylan. What kind of playoff team trades for a veteran shooter who does all the little things but then decides to bury him in the rotation? Redick was on the first thing smoking out of Wisconsin; he looks like a great fit with the Clippers, even if their perimeter ranks are fairly crowded. A career 39 percent three-point shooter, Redick will enjoy all the open looks created when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin strain defenses. In L.A., Redick should get the chance to buff up a playoff résumé that is decidedly lacking (6.8 points, 39.5 percent shooting and 33.6 percent three-point shooting in 48 games).
#76 – Jamal Crawford
Nobody breaks ankles, nutmegs opponents and dominates the summer pro-am circuit quite like Crawford, a natural showman who hails from a simpler time when it was OK to miss frequently as long as you looked incredibly awesome while doing it. After a dreadful 2011-12 season in Portland, Crawford re-emerged as a Sixth Man Award candidate during his first year with Lob City. His net rating was among the Clippers’ best last season, but his unconscientious defense and the arrivals of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley raise questions about the size and scope of his role under new coach Doc Rivers. It’s worth keeping a careful eye on how L.A.’s perimeter rotation shakes out — and how Crawford handles things if his minutes or shots are cut.
While it’s unclear whether DeAndre Jordan will make an appearance on this list it’s a guarantee that Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will appear when the lists gets closer to number on.