Three Point Guards the Clippers Could Sign in Free Agencyby Garrett Brooks October 29, 2020 1 comment
The Los Angeles Clippers disappointing season is officially in the past. Doc Rivers is out, with Ty Lue taking over as the team’s head coach. More changes are coming, as the Clippers need to show Kawhi Leonard he does not need to entertain free agency next offseason.
There is no reason to buy into any Paul George trade rumors, but everything else should be on the table. One area of need that stands out is at the point guard position. Reggie Jackson is a free agent, though he could be brought back due to his production with the Clippers after signing mid-season. Defensive specialist Patrick Beverley remains under contract and likely won’t be on the move. His skill set is a huge asset to a contender like the Clippers.
What the Clippers need is a reliable playmaker at the position. Kawhi and George can then do less facilitating, allowing them to focus on scoring. Both players are good passers, but forcing playmaking duties on the pair takes away from what they do best. The case is the same with Lou Williams, one of the most electric bench scorers in NBA history. Williams led the team in assists per game with 5.6 last season.
L.A. will likely have a deep roster again, meaning any signing doesn’t need to be a nightly big-minutes guy. Instead, these veterans can be used as needed, and could fit into the limited cap money the Clippers have available.
1. Jeff Teague
Teague is coming off a season in which he played for two very bad teams. He started the year with the Timberwolves before eventually being dealt to the Hawks. The point guard comes off a $19 million dollar salary, opening the door for a potential value deal this season, and it is safe to assume Teague would enjoy playing for a good team. At 32-years-old he has been very well compensated in previous contracts.
For the Clippers, this would be a great signing to pull off. Teague is a proven playmaker in the league and also does several other things well. The season before last, he averaged 8.2 assists per game in 30.1 minutes. He is also able to attack the basket and will at least hold his own, defensively. While generally a streaky shooter, his shot creation for himself and others far outweighs his occasional poor shooting.
Augustin is the poorest defender on this list, but he is an extremely well-rounded offensive player. Pursuing him could very well be contingent on the Clippers moving Lou Williams. Although Williams is certainly the better player of the two, he is one of the few assets that L.A. can use to revamp their roster.
Using the cap space currently spent on Williams to strengthen the frontcourt is worth considering. Given his offensive production, coach Lue may prefer keeping him to use off the bench. Minutes of Augustin and Williams on the court together would likely need to be avoided, however.
If the Clippers want an offensive threat that can both score the ball and get others involved to insert into their starting five, Augustin is their guy. That would shift Beverley to the bench, where he can spend minutes alongside Williams. You can build an entire bench around Williams scoring, and that may just be the strategy if the Clippers have their eye on Augustin.
3. Rajon Rondo
Finally, the move that would throw the entire city of Los Angeles off, particularly the Lakers franchise. Rondo is coming off a championship with the Lakers, and reports indicate he plans to opt-out of his contract. That is to be expected, given he certainly could earn more on the open market.
Maybe the Clippers pay him using an exception, maybe they convince him to come for a similar price as the Lakers had him. Rondo is a two-time champion, having won one on each side of the NBA’s most storied rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics. How incredible would it be if he left the Lakers after one ring to reignite the often discussed but so far nonexistent (outside of L.A.) rivalry.
Rondo would be an incredible fit next to the Clippers’ stars. His ability to get teammates the ball in the perfect spot, whether it be on the court or in the shooting pocket, is second to none. Rondo’s championship experience and mentality will also fit the Clippers perfectly.
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