Clippers Actions Are Good, Rumors Not So Much

The Clippers have filled a major need with the signing of center Spencer Hawes. For $23 million over four years, the Clippers get a legitimate center who can score. Last year, in a season split between the 76ers and Cavaliers, Hawes averaged 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while playing only 30 minutes per game, and he can shoot from long distance, hitting 41% for behind the arc.

The 26-year-old U of Washington alum fills perhaps what was the team’s biggest need going into the free agency season, a back-up big man who has an

all round game. At the end of last season Big Baby Davis was the first big man off the bench and he provided that all-around game most of the time, but he is gone. Ryan Hollins has come in to defend and rebound the last two seasons, but has never provided any scoring, averaging less than three points per game.

Paul Pierce, who will be 37 by the time the
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season begins, apparently has personally renewed talk of his coming to the Clippers to rejoin coach Doc Rivers. Hopefully the part of the rumors of this that are saying that the Nets have no interest in either moving Pierce or in the players rumored to have been offered to them is as true as the rest. Those rumors say that a sign-and-trade would involve all or some of Matt Barnes, Reggie Bulloch and J.J. Redick, and draft choices. What a disaster that would be for the Clippers!

First of all, Pierce has had to play through and has missed some games due to injury, which at his age, will only increase. Also, he has averaged less minutes per game each of the last three season, down to a career low 28 minutes per game last season, scoring a

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career low 13.5 points per game, along with career lows or near lows in virtually every statistical category. Second and foremost, the Clippers would seriously miss Barnes and/or Redick.

The Clippers were a different team with Redick on the court last season. Due to injuries, he missed more than one half the season, and the team just did not
have the same punch without him. Even with the injuries, given the opportunity to start, Redick had a careeryear, and the Clippers should be able to expect more of that this coming season and beyond. While admittedly he had far from his best offensive season, Barnes’ defense and intensity would be severely missed. When it comes to competitiveness and giving your all for your team, as far as the Clippers are concerned, Barnes is at the top of the list, and that is very hard to replace.

What needs to be the Clippers’ priority now is not some far-fetched give-away for Pierce, a pipe-dream of signing LeBron James, or even a long shot to sign Carmelo Anthony, which would be another HORRIBLE fit for the cohesive, team concept that has made the Clippers a winning team. No, their biggest need right now, in light of losing Darren Collison to the Kings, is acquiring a solid back-up point guard. That needs to be their focus, and I’d like to hear some rumors on that front.

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