May 29, 2018, 3:42 pm
The Clippers underwent a year of upheaval, losing their best player in the offseason and trading away their most marketable star halfway through the year mere months after signing him to a massive extension. The Lob City Clippers are gone, with a wave of new faces jockeying for spots in the team’s future plans. Despite all those changes and a rash of injuries, the Clippers put up a valiant fight and were in the mix till the season’s final week. Hoop Ball’s Post-Mortem series looks at a crazy year in LA.
The Lob City Clippers got close but could never get the timing right. Injuries to core pieces at the worst times derailed their championship aspirations, and free agent Chris Paul was being lured by Houston’s siren song. The Clippers were at the center of the offseason’s activity, dealing CP3 to the Rockets for a bushel of assets just before free agency began: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard and a pick.
The Clippers would pick up Danilo Gallinari, hoping that his scoring and spacing would help keep the team’s offense afloat even without Paul’s playmaking to keep things flowing freely. LA would also add European import and passing maestro Milos Teodosic in free agency, making him (unofficially) the oldest-looking rookie in NBA history. Willie Reed was signed on the cheap to shore up the center spot. The Clips had plugged the holes opened by J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Marreese Speights and Raymond Felton leaving in free agency. The Clippers were an entirely new team, now built around the frontcourt duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
They got off to a 5-2 start but quickly dropped 11 in a row, forcing them to think about the viability of their roster in terms of the playoff chase. Teodosic sustained a plantar fascia injury in the second game of the year that dogged him all season while Beverley’s season was over after just 11 games. Griffin missed most of December. It was all hands on deck for the Clippers, who also dealt with missed time from Austin Rivers and lengthy absences from Gallinari, who got off to a terrible start with his new team.
Despite the injuries, the Clippers kept fighting. Sitting at 11-18 in late December, they won 12 of their next 15 thanks to a world-beating run from Lou Williams. His signature game was a 50-point outing in a win over the Warriors, and suddenly the Clippers were right back in the race. They got contributions from some unexpected sources beyond Lou Will’s out of body experience, as two-way players like Jamil Wilson, C.J. Williams and later, Tyrone Wallace would step in a soak up valuable minutes.
Montrezl Harrell kept pushing his way into more and more minutes, making an obvious impact with his energy and athleticism whenever he took the floor. Eventually he supplanted Reed as the backup center and had a terrific run late in the year, providing an explosive scoring presence down low to go with Williams’ perimeter attack.
In late January, the Clippers dropped their second blockbuster of the last seven months. Blake Griffin, who the organization courted heavily in free agency, even going as far as putting “retiring as a Clipper” on the table, was sent to the Pistons. He was joined by an out-of-the-rotation Reed, Brice Johnson and a second-round selection while the Clippers added Tobias Harris, a disappointing Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and a first-round selection. LA saw the writing on the wall about a Griffin-led core and did a nice job of getting some interesting pieces while gaining financial freedom down the line.
The deadline also brought rumors about DeAndre Jordan’s fate with the franchise. A pending free agent, Jordan was reportedly almost dealt to the Cavs while other contenders like the Raptors were sniffing around the conversation. The same can be said of Lou Williams, whose expiring contract was pegged as trade bait the second he was acquired from Houston. The Clippers found themselves in the playoff picture on the back of his heroics and decided to reward him instead, inking the dynamic scorer to a three-year, $24 million extension.
Bradley continued to deal with adductor problems and was shut down after six games as a Clipper. Harris continued the fine season he started in Detroit, giving the Clippers a solid scoring punch without dominating touches or stopping the ball. Even Boban shined in the few occasions where he was tasked with meaningful minutes. The Clippers had some wild ups and downs to end the year, climbing as high as 33-27 before dropping four straight. They responded by winning four out of the next five, setting up a wild final few weeks in the West. The schedule was unkind, however, as LA lost to playoff-bound teams in Portland and Indiana before beating the Spurs by three. They followed that up with a loss to the Jazz, which set up a do-or-die game at home against the Nuggets.
The Clippers came out and got thumped by another team in the race, ending their season despite a valiant effort overall. The organization heads forward with an entirely new core but can be proud of the work that their players put in this year, defying expectations and fighting till the end with two stars shipped off for futures and flexibility.
It’s tough to judge Doc Rivers this year, considering most of their season was borne out of necessity between the major changes and all the injuries. He did a nice job plugging different players in and seemed to get the most out of the bottom of the roster.
The team looks to be on the cusp of a rebuild, and there’s something to be said for the way that Rivers was able to keep a group of misfits and young players battling hard despite long odds. The team rewarded him with an extension after the season, quickly squashing any rumors of his demise.
Doc had to mix and match a lot, especially in the backcourt, eventually landing on Austin Rivers and usually one of the two-way guys for a good chunk of the year. Lou Williams’ occasional promotions gutted the team’s second unit while Teodosic’s woeful defense compromised too much on that end for the already-depleted starters. It ended up being a solid choice, all things considered, as Austin had a career-season while the Clippers unearthed some potential pieces for the future in Williams and Wallace. He also did a decent job in running with Harrell. It was obvious that the ex-Rocket was the play at backup center, and Rivers gets credit for rewarding him on merit once he got going.
A full offseason with players who should actually stick around will do the team some good. We’ll revisit the Clippers’ playstyle a year from now to really dig into Rivers’ work, but there were just so many variables this past year that reading into 82 games of 21 different players and a brand new roster foundation will provide more questions than answers. The fact that they were even in the hunt by game No. 79 is remarkable.
While Coach Doc and GM Doc are completely different people subject to different discussions, it’s tough to nitpick with his work behind the bench this season. We’ll see how things change if the Clippers really lean into a rebuild but for now there’s no harm in bringing him back.
ADP: 74/64 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 39/26 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 55/42 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 80
2017-18 averages: 80 G | 80 GS | 33.4 MP | 18.6 PTS | 2.3 3PM | 5.5 REB | 2.4 AST | 0.9 STL | 0.4 BLK | 1.3 TOV | .460 FG% | .829 FT% |
Harris was the best he’s ever been in 2017-18, turning in a career-year across his time with the Pistons and the Clippers. LA fans were upset with the Blake Griffin trade for sentimental reasons, but Harris proved to be an excellent replacement who is younger, cheaper and healthier. The talent gap isn’t nearly as wide as public perception paints it to be either, and there are compelling arguments (beyond Griffin’s contract) for why teams might prefer Harris over Blake in a vacuum anyway.
Just a solid overall player with a high floor, Harris set new career-highs in scoring, rebounds and 3-pointers. His work from behind the arc drove much of his rise in the fantasy ranks, as prior to this season he had never topped 1.3 in a season. It’s something to watch for, as Harris is still just a .355 career shooter from deep despite this season’s wonderful .411 mark. A little regression won’t kill him but it definitely hurts.
Harris is a fairly polished scorer that can bounce between both forward spots, and his fit with Danilo Gallinari should be pretty interesting. He’s also a gem for 9-cat owners, though it is worth pointing out that he averaged 1.7 turnovers per game as a member of the Clippers. That ties his career-worst, though it’s fair to reason that the injuries to LA’s top point guard options forced others to handle the ball a bit more than usual.
Despite an excellent fantasy season out of Harris, there really isn’t a ton to say. It’s kind of on brand. He can score relatively efficiently and is a supremely effective player in just about every facet of the game. His deep shooting and mistake-free brand of ball would be a great fit for any team, and the Clippers have to be happy with the early returns here. He’s a consistent, productive option that can be had in the middle-rounds and figures to land in that zone again barring a major roster shakeup.
ADP: 42/43 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 48/49 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 68/68 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 77
2017-18 averages: 77 G | 7 GS | 31.5 MP | 12.0 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 15.2 REB | 1.5 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.9 BLK | 1.8 TOV | .645 FG% | .580 FT% |
Some steps back were to be expected for Jordan this season. Without Chris Paul to throw him picture-perfect lobs, DJ would need to work harder for his offense. That turned out to be the case, and Jordan mixed some surprising career-highs with far more damaging career-lows to turn in a disappointing and troubling year.
First, the good news. Jordan set a new career-best with 15.2 rebounds per game. He also dished 1.9 assists a night, the most ever for him. The boards are a massive part of his value so it was good to see Jordan excel in a major area of importance. He also set a new career-high by shooting 58 percent from the free throw line. You still had to punt, but at least he improved by nearly 10 full percentage points.
Now, the bad. Jordan’s field goal percentage plummeted from .714 to .645, which while still good, is just not quite as helpful as his league-leading figures in each of the past five seasons. Oddly enough, his .643 mark back in 2012-13 was good enough to lead the NBA but below this season’s numbers. He had been above 70 percent for three straight years but wasn’t quite the building block he’s usually been this season. Jordan also attempted more shots and committed more turnovers than ever before. The CP3 effect, perhaps.
The big issue here is Jordan’s cratering block rate. At just 0.9 per game, this was the first year that he’d fallen below 1.0 since 2009-10 when he was a 21-year-old averaging just 16.2 minutes a night. This was the second straight season where his blocks have dipped, and they’ve done so at a pretty substantial rate (from 2.3 to 1.7 to just 0.9). They won’t dip much lower than this and a bounceback seems likely, but if he’s not going to be a truly elite source of swats then you’re banking on his rebounds and field goal percentage doing most of the heavy lifting.
Jordan also missed five games with a sore ankle, though he’s only missed 11 games over the last six seasons.
While he’s going to win you rebounds and field goal percentage more often than not (even with the dip), Jordan is just a two-category player unless his blocks come back. He’s still a top-35 player when you punt free throws but his stat set just didn’t match with his ADP. Jordan could land elsewhere in free agency, though his role is unlikely to change a ton regardless of which uniform he sports.
ADP: 96/73 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 20/29 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 35/44 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 79
2017-18 averages: 79 G | 19 GS | 32.8 MP | 22.6 PTS | 2.4 3PM | 2.5 REB | 5.3 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.2 BLK | 3.0 TOV | .435 FG% | .880 FT% |
What a year for Lou Will. His 32.8 mpg were the most he’s ever received and the former (and likely future) Sixth Man of the Year took full advantage, setting career-highs in points, threes and assists by comfortable margins.
Williams came over from Houston in an offseason deal and there was some initial trepidation about his workload considering LA’s guard depth, but once injuries his it was all systems go. From the 11th game (where Patrick Beverley was injured) onwards, Sweet Lou averaged 34.2 minutes a night and authored an all-out assault on the scoring column.
He scored in double digits 78 times this year and 20 or more 50 times. He posted six double-doubles with assists and one more in a remarkable outing against Utah where he dropped 31 points, 10 steals and seven dimes. Lou went absolutely nuts starting in Late December, going on a run of 20 or more points in 20 of 21 games. Of those, he had 10 games of 30 or more, two games of 40 points and a 50-point explosion in a win over the Warriors. The month of January was sensational in particular, as he finished with averages of 28.2 points, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.3 triples a night on 44.5 percent shooting.
A sore ankle kept him out of one game in December while he sat out the final two games of the year. He showed up on the injury report with a sore ankle but the Clippers were also mathematically eliminated at that point, so there’s no real injury issues here.
Initially thought to be trade bait on his expiring deal, Williams’ scoring binge actually vaulted the Clippers into the playoff conversation and they wound up signing him to an incredibly affordable three-year, $24 million extension. He’ll be a primary source of scoring for LA whether or not he comes off the bench. It’s probably not wise to expect a repeat of this career season so check his ADP as we get into draft season. It’s possible that he’s played his way out of any profit margin, but Williams should be a reliable, relatively cheap source of scoring, free throw percentage, threes and dimes.
ADP: 83/75 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 250/273 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 177/229 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 46
2017-18 averages: 46 G | 46 GS | 31.2 MP | 14.3 PTS | 1.6 3PM | 2.5 REB | 2.0 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.2 BLK | 2.2 TOV | .414 FG% | .768 FT% |
Bradley was a semi-popular name heading into the season as he figured to be in for a bigger role as a member of the Pistons. Detroit lacked a true scoring threat and had responsibility ready for the taking while Boston had itself a trio of stars who would’ve left Bradley as an odd man out on offense. Of course, his departure paved the way for that collection of talent, but any way you slice it he was set for more work with Detroit than he would’ve had on the Celtics. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well.
Leaving Boston’s offensive system seems to put a major damper on most of their recent departures, and in that regard Bradley is no different. Despite an increase in catch-and-shoot looks and wide-open shots (on less volume to boot), his efficiency plummeted from .463 to an unsightly .414 from the field.
He also saw a predictable decline in his rebounding numbers. His 6.1 boards per game in 2016-17 were a major part of his fantasy value, though they were accrued on a Celtics team that wasn’t strong on the glass. Playing next to Andre Drummond (and eventually DeAndre Jordan) meant that his output in that category would be carved up substantially.
A strained right adductor cost him seven games as a member of the Pistons before recurring groin issues ended his season after just six games with the Clippers. AB sat out the final 26 games of the season and underwent surgery to repair the adductor in March. He should be ready for the start of next season.
Bradley’s star has waned significantly over the past year. He’ll definitely have some suitors in free agency but the contract won’t be nearly as large as suspected this time a year ago. Teams will gladly pay for players who can defend on the perimeter and knock down some triples, but Bradley lost quite a bit of money with this down season. His fantasy outlook will depend on where he ends up. Anyone who drafted him this year was burned pretty badly, as Bradley wasn’t even close to delivering on his ADP even when he was active.
ADP: 110/136 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 249/270 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 169/216 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 45
2017-18 averages: 45 G | 36 GS | 25.2 MP | 9.5 PTS | 2.0 3PM | 2.8 REB | 4.6 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.1 BLK | 2.2 TOV | .419 FG% | .848 FT% |
Teodosic finally made the jump to the NBA after a decorated career overseas but his rookie year was derailed by persistent foot injuries. He sustained a plantar fascia injury in just his second game, returning after 22 games on the sidelines. It wasn’t smooth sailing from there, however, as Teodosic had his minutes limited and sat back-to-backs until a sore left foot (related to the first injury) shelved him for two games in January. A sore right foot kept him out of two February contests and a sore left plantar fascia ended up keeping him out of the final eight games of the year.
It’s a shame, as Teodosic’s wonderful passing skills were a treat to see. The Clippers performed better with him in the lineup and his willingness to move the ball often seemed to be infectious. He’s a below-average defender even with healthy feet and his turnovers are the drawback of his creativity, so it isn’t all roses, but he’s an effective offensive player on a team that trends towards ball-dominance from an individual perspective.
Teodosic shot just .302 from deep over his first 11 games (until the calendar flipped to 2018) but was excellent thereafter, shooting .402 from behind the arc on 5.0 attempts a night. His shooting touch is a great complement to his passing wizardry, and it’s easy to see how he can help this team even in short spurts.
The foot injuries are absolutely something that should be monitored for the rest of his NBA career. He’s already got more tread on the tires than most, so look for the Clippers to keep a close eye on that. It also doesn’t help that they’ll have four competent backcourt players at minimum. Unfortunately the logjam paints him as an assists and threes specialist going forward but it’ll all be determined by playing time.
ADP: 117/146 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 159/168 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 125/141 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 61
2017-18 averages: 61 G | 59 GS | 33.7 MP | 15.1 PTS | 2.2 3PM | 2.4 REB | 4.0 AST | 1.2 STL | 0.3 BLK | 1.8 TOV | .424 FG% | .642 FT% |
In what was a common theme for the Clippers this year, Rivers was able to flourish given the swaths of playing time that were opened up by injuries to other players. He was able to establish career-highs in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and threes. That was largely built on a career-high in minutes, up six ticks from last season.
Rivers emerged as a quality starter this season, helping space the floor with some solid work from behind the arc while also providing a necessary source of ball-handling and penetration. He’s not a natural playmaker and shouldn’t be looked at to handle the point guard work for extended stretches but was fine in a pinch. There’s also a problem with overconfidence, and that mixed with necessity led to a lot of shots and fewer makes than usual this season. There were definitely some extenuating circumstances there but hopefully Rivers shows a little more restraint next year.
He missed 21 games this year; two with a concussion, 18 with a strained right Achilles and one more with a strained elbow. He doesn’t have the greatest injury history with a career average of 68 games played per year but Rivers figures to be taken late enough in standard drafts that it’s not a major concern. He emerged as a decent end-of-roster option for threes, steals and assists this year. As long as Rivers gets minutes in the high twenties he should be able to continue that production going forward. He has a player option but figures to return to LA.
ADP: 76/75(ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 320/304 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 110/93 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 21
2017-18 averages: 21 G | 21 GS | 32.0 MP | 15.3 PTS | 1.7 3PM | 4.8 REB | 2.0 AST | 0.6 STL | 0.5 BLK | 1.2 TOV | .398 FG% | .931 FT% |
Gallinari joined the Clippers in free agency to start at small forward, forming a formidable duo at the forward spots with Blake Griffin. Obviously that never came to pass, as both players dealt with injury troubles (what else is new) before Griffin was traded at the deadline. Now the Clippers will hope that Gallinari and Tobias Harris jell in a more spaced-out forward group.
Before we circle back to the injuries, and while we acknowledge that Gallinari’s tough to criticize considering so many of his games came after long layoffs in the thick of the season, an awful start to the year meant that owners were left hung out to dry even when Gallo was expected to perform. He shot an abhorrent .355 on 11.9 shots a night through his first nine games, with fewer games at .500 or better (two) than .300 or worse (four). Adjusting to a new team surely didn’t help but Gallinari ended up posting the worst field goal percentage of his career and his lowest scoring and rebounding numbers in the last three seasons.
A strained left glute cost Gallinari 13 games from November into early December, and he returned for two contests before sitting out the following 25 with more glute issues. He admitted that it was tough to walk during his first stretch on the sidelines, so it wasn’t surprising that the problem lingered even after he returned initially.
The Rooster returned to play in eight straight games from late January into February before suffering a right hand injury that would sideline him for 18 more games. Initially it was diagnosed as a bruise and X-rays came back clear but a later MRI revealed a non-displaced fracture. A further reevaluation determined that he wouldn’t need surgery, and he’d come back for two more games before aggravating the hand in a fall during his final game of the year on April 1. He sat out the final five contests of the year. Recently he’s said that his hand hasn’t healed yet, but there won’t be any surgery.
It’s really hard to grade Gallinari’s first year with the Clippers as anything other than incomplete. He’s got the ability to churn out middle-round value in his sleep but he just can’t stay off the injured list. There was no way that Gallo could find any rhythm this season, and his poor statistical output plus his perpetual injury woes might leave a lot of room for profit in his ADP. He’s also probably landed on a ton of “never again” lists, too. He’ll be a fascinating player to track during draft season.
ADP: 96/86 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 364/365 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 63/76 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 11
2017-18 averages: 11 G | 11 GS | 30.4 MP | 12.2 PTS | 2.2 3PM | 4.1 REB | 2.9 AST | 1.6 STL | 0.5 BLK | 2.3 TOV | .403 FG% | .824 FT% |
Beverley was off to a great start before a microfracture and meniscus injury in his right knee ended his season back in November. He was terrific on opening night, welcoming Lonzo Ball with the smothering defense and general shenanigans that have gifted Beverley a reputation as one of the league’s top agitators and defensive guards. We wouldn’t be surprised if he popped up in Lonzo’s rearview mirror after the game for added effect.
While Beverley was initially battling for time with Milos Teodosic, Teodosic’s foot injury allowed Beverley to run with the job. A clear path to big minutes plus more responsibility led to career-highs in points, 3-pointers, steals, field goal attempts and usage rate in his brief time on the court. His efficiency dropped a bit but P-Bev was shaping up as an excellent value pick.
With an expected recovery time of nine months, Beverley should be good to go next season. Despite the wealth of guards on the roster, his elite defensive abilities should guarantee him something close to 30 minutes a night, if not more. Don’t forget about him after this lost season.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 163/154 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 206/186 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 76
2017-18 averages: 76 G | 3 GS | 17.0 MP | 11.1 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 4.0 REB | 1.0 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.7 BLK | 0.9 TOV | .635 FG% | .626 FT% |
Harrell was one of the forgotten parts of the Chris Paul trade at first, but he just showed incredibly energy and surprising scoring ability whenever he got the minutes. Eventually he dispatched Willie Reed from the rotation and the Clippers eventually traded their free agent signing, opting to roll with Harrell’s infectious dynamism and youth. His game isn’t perfect (rebounding, defense and limited offense) but there’s a whole lot to like.
Harrell graded out as one of the most efficient players in the Association this year, finishing third in EFG% and making the most of his time with 11.1 points in 17.0 mpg. He actually saw his playing time decline from his sophomore year but produced career-highs in scoring, rebounds and steals anyway.
His season started slowly when he was at the bottom of the depth chart but Harrell steadily ensconced himself in the rotation and ended up averaging 20.1 minutes a night from the beginning of January onward. He went on a monster tear, averaging 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.8 blocks on 66.0 percent from the field in that time. Those numbers put Harrell just outside the top-100 over the final half of the season, which made him a fantastic pickup for the stretch run. With eye-popping per-minute numbers, the fan favorite should be in line for a healthier role next year. He’s a name that could end up on a lot of sleeper lists, and he might be able to carve out standard league value even if the Clippers retain DeAndre Jordan.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 178/163 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 221/193 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 74
2017-18 averages: 74 G | 40 GS | 20.1 MP | 5.4 PTS | 0.8 3PM | 2.9 REB | 0.8 AST | 1.0 STL | 0.8 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .408 FG% | .741 FT% |
Johnson isn’t a particularly thrilling fantasy player but always seems to surface as a potential add for his output in the cash counters. When he gets minutes, which LA’s rash of injuries permitted this season, Johnson is a nice fill-in option who can be expected to chip in some steals, blocks and triples.
A sore left foot cost him five games and he lost a little playing time as the season wore on, even dropping from the rotation in March. Johnson remains a useful player to have around but not one that the Clippers will lean on. While he was a triple-one player in his 40 games as a starter with 1.0 threes, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks (largely because of a 10-minute jump in playing time), his net rating was also terrible and the team suffered for it. It’s not a look they’ll turn to unless more injuries gut their wing depth, so as things stand right now Johnson should only be on the radar in deep leagues.
ADP: N/A / 142 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 342/346 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 331/339 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 39
2017-18 averages: 39 G | 1 GS | 8.3 MP | 6.0 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 3.7 REB | 0.6 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.3 BLK | 0.9 TOV | .534 FG% | .794 FT% |
Remember when Stan Van Gundy talked about using Boban as Detroit’s primary backup center? Fun times. Unfortunately that was all hot air, as Marjanovic’s terrific per-minute output was relegated to “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” territory yet again.
A semi-popular sleeper pick to take in the final round, Boban 18 minutes through the end of November. His lone start of the season came with the Pistons against Miami where he picked up 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a block in 22 minutes. He had a few explosive outings as a Clipper with an 18-point, 15-minute outing against the Nuggets standing out in particular. Boban was a plus-27 in that one, which the Clippers won by two. The guy can play.
He’s a great per-minute player and would be an automatic double-double on great percentages even as a strict backup, but until we get a real assurance that he’ll be given something like 18 minutes a night with regularity he’ll be almost impossible to trust outside of very deep leagues.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 280/280 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 377/376 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 73
2017-18 averages: 73 G | 17 GS | 15.8 MP | 3.9 PTS | 0.3 3PM | 1.9 REB | 0.9 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.3 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .429 FG% | .670 FT% |
Thornwell was selected 48th overall in the draft but ended up playing a real role for the Clippers this season. There were some wild swings dictated entirely by the health of other backcourt players, as Thornwell played 22 games with less than 10 minutes while logging 20 games of 20 minutes or more, including nine of 30 minutes or more.
Unfortunately his stats weren’t impressive regardless of workload, and his averages as a starter aren’t hugely different from his numbers as a reserve with the exception of a dip in efficiency. Thornwell won’t play much for a Clippers squad that’s close to full health but did have a decent rookie year considering the circumstances. Not much here for fantasy.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 313/321 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 202/226 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 30
2017-18 averages: 30 G | 19 GS | 28.4 MP | 9.7 PTS | 0.3 3PM | 3.5 REB | 2.4 AST | 0.9 STL | 0.4 BLK | 1.5 TOV | .445 FG% | .782 FT% |
Wallace was another of LA’s two-way success stories, becoming the third player on such a contract to make positive contributions at some point in the season. His length and defensive versatility came in handy and there was no acclimation period here as Wallace logged 31 minutes in his very first game.
He isn’t a particularly effective shooter as teams were often willing to let him try and score from the perimeter, but the Clippers will definitely keep him around for next season and try to develop the offensive side of his game. There’s some very low-end appeal in the defensive numbers and it’s possible he throws his hat in the ring for a starting gig at small forward, but unless that happens Wallace will only be an asset in deep leagues.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 314/308 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 411/406 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 73
2017-18 averages: 73 G | 1 GS | 12.1 MP | 4.2 PTS | 0.1 3PM | 2.4 REB | 0.5 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.1 BLK | 0.5 TOV | .494 FG% | .661 FT% |
Dekker came over in the Paul trade and was thought to be a potential fit as a stretch four but it just never panned out. He was on the very fringes of the rotation and saw statistical declines in every fantasy category besides field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Most troublingly for his future, he shot just 16.7 percent from deep.
Dekker was routinely playing under 10 minutes a night before Danilo Gallinari and Blake Griffin went down, and even then he surpassed 20 minutes just 10 times all season, with two of those coming at the end of the year when the Clippers were officially eliminated. He might get more run this year depending on what changes LA makes in the offseason but he’s not someone that fantasy players need to commit to memory.
ADP: N/A / N/A (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 332/341 (8/9 cat) | Per-Game Value: 366/384 (8/9 cat) | Games Played: 48
2017-18 averages: 48 G | 4 GS | 16.2 MP | 4.8 PTS | 0.3 3PM | 1.8 REB | 2.1 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.1 BLK | 0.9 TOV | .352 FG% | .776 FT% |
Evans, a second-round rookie, was given some chances to play as a result of all the injuries that befell the Clippers. While he himself dealt with some time on the sidelines (18 absences with a sore abdominal, eight more with a sore abdominal to end the year) Evans wasn’t too impactful even when he did play. His workload was cut following his first return from injury as the Clippers shortened their rotation in a final playoff push. Evans underwent surgery in April so hopefully the abdominal problems stop here.
The Clippers had a number of prospects come up from the G-League to take on small rotation roles, and Evans didn’t distinguish himself much. On the other hand, it’s tough to complain about his output too much, as he did have two great starts when the Clippers were still alive in the playoff hunt – 12 points, four rebounds, seven assists and a steal against the Warriors and 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals, a block and a 3-pointer against the Hawks. This is a guard-heavy roster but it’s tough to project much out of Evans in year two.
There are a lot of moving parts here. Doc Rivers has been locked in but the Clippers have several decisions to make in free agency, with DeAndre Jordan’s situation at the forefront. The organization could choose to demolish Lob City in a calendar year, though if that was truly the case it’d call into question their decision at the trade deadline. The Clippers will probably be battling for one of the final playoff spots in the West and if they manage to retain DJ he’ll pair nicely with a subtly deep roster and Lou Williams locked into a fairly reasonable deal. If they don’t, the Clippers have plenty of trade chips between their young players and veterans on expiring deals and no major long-term commitments to work around. The team is certainly more flexible these days, and how they fare over the first month or two could have a great effect on the organization’s future. They just need a run of good health to see what this roster can really do.