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J-lo New Yorker
clipsentuboca » 04/20/18 » 8:30pm
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2018 NHL Playoffs
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04/20/18 » 7:35pm
Clippers want Kawhi
BlakeG4MVP » 04/14/18 » 7:23pm (Page: 1, 2)
04/20/18 » 7:31pm
Olowokandi34 » 04/20/18 » 11:53am
04/20/18 » 12:58pm
Playoff teams likely to go after Dj via trade
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04/19/18 » 12:47pm
In 2017-18, the Los Angeles Clippers had some great moments in a season that caught many by surprise. The Los Angeles Clippers had an eventful 2017-18 season, to say the least. On top of the usual highlight mixtape that every NBA team can cobble together once the season is over, the Clippers had a bevy […]
The Clips Nation Exit Interview series continues with our new friend, Sam Dekker.
Name: Sam Dekker
Age: 23 (but soon to be 24 on May 6th — happy early birthday, Sam!)
Years in NBA: 3
Key Stats: 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game; shot only 16.7% from three-point range; played 12.1 minutes per game over 73 appearances.
2017-2018 Salary: $1,794,600
Future Contract Status: Dekker is signed through the 2019-20 season, at which time he will be a Restricted Free Agent.
Summary: Dekker played in 73 games, averaging 12 minutes per game, and only earned one start for a team riddled with injuries, which, on the surface does not seem like a successful season. That suspicion is confirmed by looking at his three point shooting, which was an abysmal 16.7% from the field. Yes, he average fewer than one attempt per game, but that just shows further that he was not a productive option on the offensive side of the floor. He did not meet expectations, and let G-League call-ups and rookies steal his minutes. His athleticism rendered him useful at times, but not nearly often enough.
Strengths: Dekker’s Defensive Rating was 103.8, which puts him right between Draymond Green and Hassan Whiteside. I am aware that I am presenting this figure in a fairly context-less manner, though I think presenting it in this way is instructive: His rating indicates he is a good defender, based on the company he is in, but Clippers fans who watched him all season wouldn’t have guessed the numbers would indicate as such. His strength, therefore, is in his ability to not screw things up, I would offer. He had a positive +/- on the season by simply being competent most of the time. And his athletic ability allows him to be as productive as possible for a player that is not an offensive threat. Oh, and he’s a pretty good passer — better than I expected, at least.
Weaknesses: Shooting, shooting, shooting. This is why Jamil Wilson, Sindarius Thornwell, CJ Williams, and Ty Wallace — all rookies — all got minutes over him. Mentioning anything other than that would dilute the point.
Future with Clippers: Dekker’s contract gets slightly more expensive as it goes on (2.7 million next year, 3.9 mil thereafter), so the Clippers might see him as wasted space on the roster if he does not earn more time through increased production and more efficiency from the field.
Dekker is the type of player one wants in the modern NBA: A 6’9” wing who is big and coordinated enough to, in theory, guard either an opponent’s perimeter player or stretch-big. He has only been in the league for three seasons, with the first being largely a false-start, so there should be plenty of room for improvement.
Assuming the Clippers remain something similar to what we saw this year, one can imagine Dekker’s next two years either being an opprotunity to learn from a player like Tobias Harris, who should be his goal in terms of style and productivity of play, or being another potential 3-and-D player who falls short of expectations (think Wesley Johnson, Ryan Gomes, etc.).
Or, of course, the Clippers could easily tack him onto a trade package, which could have happened this year had the Pistons-Clippers trade added up out a little differently. I suppose the takeaway from these last now four paragraphs would be: Sam Dekker, given his relatively low salary and the Clippers’ need for another good Small Forward, will be given the opprotunity to improve — and his future with the Clippers will largely depend on his ability to shoot much better from the field.
Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
Beg the basketball gods for a healthy existence.
Perhaps that should be the core of how the Clippers approach the 2018-19 season.
Injuries clearly were the undoing of the Clippers during their 2017-18...
Reed entered the season as DeAndre Jordan’s backup, but lost his rotation spot and eventually a spot in the NBA.
Name: Willie Reed
Years in NBA: 3
Key Stats: 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in 10.7 minutes per game in 39 appearances for LAC (only played 9 minutes in 3 games for Detroit)
2017-2018 Salary: $1,577,230
Future Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Willie Reed was so close to being one of the feel-good stories in basketball: he was in the NBA D-League for a long time, and almost got NBA opportunities a couple of times but never got to appear in a game until the 2014-15 season with the Brooklyn Nets, where he proved his worth as a fringe roster player, eventually signing a rest-of-season deal before joining the Miami Heat the next summer. And he as good as Hassan Whiteside’s backup in Miami—how good? Well, his averages of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per 36 minutes were enough to reportedly earn him a big-time contract offer with the Heat that he allegedly turned down because of some subpar advice from his representation.
So, he came to the Clippers on a minimum salary deal, but an August domestic violence arrest loomed over his time with the team and despite solid play in the early weeks of the season, he was clearly outplayed by Montrezl Harrell, losing the backup center position. His minimum-salary deal ended up being a throw-in in the blockbuster Blake Griffin trade as a way for the Clippers to dodge the luxury tax. He played just 9 minutes in 3 games for the Pistons before being suspended by the NBA after a league investigation into his domestic violence incident, and then subsequently flipped as salary filler to the Chicago Bulls in another trade. The Bulls immediately released Reed and he didn’t sign with another team to finish the season.
It wouldn’t be terrible inaccurate to describe Willie as a poor man’s DeAndre Jordan, and frankly, it might be even closer to describe him as a poor man’s Hassan Whiteside. That means he’s a good 10-15 minute-per-game backup for either of those guys, partially filling their shoes while they catch a breather. What does poor man’s DeAndre/Hassan mean? Well, it’s obvious: he’s a rim-running above-the-rim shot-blocking center. He doesn’t do much of anything outside of 5 feet, but what he can do is finish lobs, grab some rebounds, and block some shots at the rim. There are always spots in the NBA for guys with that skill set.
If Willie’s strength is that he’s a poor man’s DeAndre/Hassan, his weakness is an emphasis on “poor.” He doesn’t block that many shots (2 per 36 is hardly record-breaking), his rebounding is only mediocre compared to the two big men who have started over him, and he doesn’t have the prolific lob-finishing ability of either. It leaves him as a serviceable center, but not talented enough to be a must-play in an NBA rotation, and he doesn’t have the long-term or game-to-game upside of prospects or change-of-pace big men.
Future with Clippers:
It would be pretty surprising if Willie Reed rejoined the Clippers at any point—frankly, I’d be surprised if he played in the NBA again. He has utility as an NBA player—but not a ton of it, and there are athletic young big men available to teams in bunches who don’t have a league domestic violence suspension on their record. Reed’s exclusion from the NBA is no great loss for the on-court product and a big step in the right direction for professional sports, an industry which still has a long ways to go in terms of social responsibility.
Kawhi Leonard’s tenure on the San Antonio Spurs may be coming to an end. Thus, it may be time to start throwing his name in the Clippers rumors. The Los Angeles Clippers are the most middle-of-the-road team in the NBA. While the team has enough talent to be in contention for a lower playoff seed […]
Clippers Rumors: The perfect trade that can land Kawhi Leonard - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
The Clips Nation Exit Interview series continues with a look at Clippers’ two-way player Jamil Wilson, who was a big factor for the team early in the season.
Name: Jamil Wilson
Years in NBA: Rookie
Key Stats: 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game on 46.9% shooting from the field and 42.9% shooting from three (4.2 attempts per game). Averaged 18.3 minutes in 15 games, with 10 starts.
2017-2018 Salary: $50,000
Future Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Jamil Wilson was an unheralded addition to the Clippers’ summer league team, but quickly proved himself the best player on that squad, showing a versatile game and a deadly outside shot. He was signed to one of the new two-way deals right after summer league ended, an early sign that he would get at least some minutes in the NBA during the upcoming season. Jamil started off the season in the G-League with the Agua Caliente Clippers, as expected. However, the Clippers severe injury issues led to his call-up in late November.
After playing in garbage time in two games, Jamil’s shooting ability won him a rotation spot for the Clippers, and then a position in the starting lineup. He swiftly became a fan-favorite due to his incredible shooting—almost every shot from deep looked like it was going in. In addition, as he got more comfortable, Jamil began to display the same skills that made him such a standout in summer league: athletic help defense around the rim, smart cuts to the basket, and solid passing. Even though the Clippers were missing Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, and Pat Beverley for most of Jamil’s time with the team, they went 6-7 in games where he was in the rotation. And while Jamil certainly wasn’t the biggest reason for that relative success, he was a real part of the Clippers’ ability to stay afloat without their stars.
Sadly, Jamil’s 45 days with the Clippers ran up in late December, and with Blake Griffin on the mend, and other players (Ty Wallace) pushing their way forward, there didn’t seem to be any room for Wilson. Thus, the Clippers waived him on January 6. Shortly after, it was announced that the Lakers were about to sign him to a 10-day deal. Before the paper was signed officially, however, a report came out on TMZ decrying Jamil’s behavior off the court with his ex-girlfriend, and the contract was taken away. Jamil was then signed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G-League affiliate, and he finished the season with them.
Jamil’s biggest strength is easily his outside shooting. While he’s not as good as his 43% with the Clippers would suggest, he has a quick, easy, fluid shooting stroke, and can hit from all areas behind the arc. His larger sample size in the G-League would indicate he’s more of an upper-30s shooter from deep, but it’s quite possible he could raise that on an NBA team with superior passing and spacing.
The rest of Wilson’s offensive game isn’t outstanding, but solid. When defenders come flying out at him to prevent the three, Jamil is perfectly capable of taking a dribble or two inside the arc and canning the midrange jumper. He is a smart cutter, with a great sense of timing and spacing. His length and athleticism make him a solid finisher around the rim, and he can even unleash some sweet dunks when given enough room. Nobody would mistake Jamil for LeBron James as a passing power forward, yet he has very good court vision, and is happy to make plays for others. This passing includes dishing from the top of the key, as well as passes to fellow big men around the basket. Averaging nearly 3 assists per game this season between Agua Caliente and Fort Wayne, Jamil is certainly able to take part in a free-flowing, quick-thinking offense.
Jamil is a smart defensive player. He can make plays as a weak-side shot blocker, and sometimes can wreak havoc in the passing lanes with his instincts. Wilson is just stout enough to defend larger players in the post, at the same time being sufficiently quick to stick with smaller players on the perimeter. Again, his overall IQ enables him to make plays on the defensive end despite lacking outstanding size or athletic tools.
Outside of his shooting (and to a much lesser extent, his passing) Jamil doesn’t possess any above-average NBA tools. He can’t really create offense for himself against a set defense, as his ball-handling is at a rudimentary level. On defense, he’s smart and athletic enough to be a cog in a well-made and designed scheme, but is never going to be a stand out on that end. At 27, turning 28 next season, Jamil doesn’t really possess much upside for an NBA team: he is who he is at this point. This season, Jamil graded out at around league average (or slightly above) for advanced stats such as BPM, Win Shares per 48, and RPM. That makes him a nice rotation player, possibly a bit better with some more seasoning. Unfortunately, without much upside, NBA teams generally prefer players with more NBA experience, so it’s possible Wilson will get passed over for worse players because they’ve “been there” before.
Future with Clippers:
To be honest, I’m still a little salty that the Clippers waived Jamil back in January. I understand the position they were in—crunched for roster spots and space below the luxury tax. I also realize that Jamil isn’t a franchise-changing player, and he might not have made much a difference to the Clippers’ recently ended season. Yet…. in Jamil’s 13 rotation games, he proved he was a better option at power forward for the Clippers than both Sam Dekker and Wes Johnson. His shooting alone made him more valuable than either of those players, and his passing was superior as well. While Wes is a better defensive player, and Sam brought more sheer energy and rebounding, neither was even close to as effective over any multi-game stretch as Wilson was this season.
Imagine how nice Jamil’s shooting would have looked next to Tobias Harris, and how much space the two of them together could have created for Lou, Austin, and Milos to operate. The Clippers desperately needed outside shooting and smart defensive play the last two months of the season. Wilson definitely could have provided one of those things and would at least have been worth a shot at the other. Could Jamil’s shooting have swung several of the games that the Clippers dropped towards the end of the season? It’s certainly conceivable. In his final game with the Clippers, Jamil dropped 17 points on 9 shots, nailing 5 of his 7 three-point shots. That type of performance would have been huge down the stretch of the season.
Jamil Wilson is probably a capable NBA rotation player. And while the Clippers may have let go of him, Clippers’ officials (most recently Lawrence Frank, in his interview with Ralph and Bruce in one of the Clippers’ last games) have mentioned him as helping the team during the dark months of the season. While I wouldn’t say a return to the Clips is likely, it’s not impossible either. Even if it’s not with the Clippers, I hope Jamil gets another shot in the NBA next season. He earned it.