Los Angeles Clippers 2017 NBA Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Los Angeles Clippers 2017 Preview
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The Los Angeles Clippers have topped 50 wins in each of the last five seasons, but this may be the toughest year yet for coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers return just five players from last years squad, and regardless of the talent level, it’s always difficult to hit the ground running with a fairly new team. Things take time and playing in the loaded Western Conference, you don’t have much leeway to figure things out.
Here is your Los Angeles Clippers 2017 NBA preview.
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Key Player Losses: Chris Paul is the biggest loss for the Clippers, as he’s been the most consistent player for the franchise the last six seasons and helped change the culture. CP3 has the most assists in Clippers history with 4,023 and is probably the best player of all-time for the franchise as well. Sharpshooter JJ Redick leaves for the Philadelphia 76ers after four seasons in LA, three of which he shot better than 40 percent from three. Jamal Crawford is gone after five seasons with the Clippers and consistently being the most reliable player off the bench. Speaking of the bench, the Clippers also say goodbye to Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton, Luc Mbah a Moute, Paul Pierce and Diamond Stone. Yikes.
Key Player Additions: The Clippers bring over Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell from Houston in the trade for CP3. Beverley and Williams is likely going to be the starting backcourt for the Clippers and is a nice defensive/offensive combination. Dekker and Harrell are also young players who had their moments when they actually saw the court. Danilo Gallinari leaves six seasons of Denver and could be a huge steal for Los Angeles if he can stay healthy considering he’s a 37 percent shooter from deep and a solid passer as well. Gallinari will make life easier for everybody else with his ability to stretch the floor. Willie Reed was a solid backup for the Miami Heat last season and should be better with more playing time behind DeAndre Jordan.
Draft: Jawun Evans is a gamer at the guard position with elite quickness, a reliable jump shot and above-average ball handling. Evans may not have great size, but he plays with a lot of heart and isn’t going to backdown from anybody. While the Clippers have struggled with backup play in the past, Evans could see some considerable playing time if he plays to his potential. Sindarius Thornwell is another tough guard who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty on the defensive end and improved his offensive ability over the years to the point he won SEC POY last season. Over time Thornwell could prove his worth due to his grinding attitude.
Outlook: Give the Clippers front office credit for rebounding after losing arguably the best pure point guard in the league. Most teams are toast when its top player leaves, but the Clippers got a nice haul from the Rockets, snagged a difference maker in Gallinari, patched the bench the best it could and made sure Blake Griffin didn’t leave. It’s going to be interesting to see if there’s another gear for Blake now that this is solely his franchise. Either way, the Clippers will make the playoffs for a seventh straight season.