The Los Angeles Clippers have one of the most talented duos in the NBA after signing Kawhi Leonard and trading for Paul George but their roster still had room for improvement and their recent moves will help them.
The Clippers re-signed JaMychal Green on and agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million deal with Patrick Patterson, both very smart moves and they will bring back most of the core that won 48 games last season and pushed Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors to six games in the first round of the playoffs.
Leonard and George combined for 54.6 points, 15.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 5.7 3-pointers and 4.0 steals last year and the team’s roster is now much more rounded out than what most teams have.
Clippers Starting Lineup & Roster With JaMychal Green, Patrick Patterson
*Notates expected starter
C: Ivica Zubac*, Montrezl Harrell, Mfiondu Kabengele
PF: Maurice Harkless*, JaMychal Green, Patrick Patterson
SF: Paul George*, Terance Mann
SG: Kawhi Leonard*, Landry Shamet, Jerome Robinson, Rodney McGruder
PG: Patrick Beverley*, Lou Williams
Head coach Doc Rivers will be able to use many different combinations, Montrezl Harrell can be their starting power forward or center but the frontcourt depth provided with the additions of Green and Patterson will allow him to come off the bench. Harrell thrived as the team’s seventh man last year, averaging 16.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.1 minutes over 77 games as a reserve so he should keep coming off the bench.
Paul George could also be the starting power forward (like when the Thunder had Carmelo Anthony at the three) and Kawhi Leonard can be the starting small forward, giving Landry Shamet a more prominent role as the starting shooting guard and JaMychal Green and Patrick Patterson provide even more depth and versatility because they can get minutes at power forward and at center.
What Green & Patterson Bring
JaMychal Green was impressive in 24 regular season games (two starts) with the Clippers last year, averaging 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 19.6 minutes and he tried to reinvent himself as a high-volume 3-point shooter.
Green made a career-high 40.3 percent of his 3-point shots last season, including his 41 games with Grizzlies and his time with the Clippers and after being traded to Los Angeles he went from attempting 3.8 3-pointers per 36 minutes to 6.1, also per 36 minutes.
Trading Tobias Harris to the 76ers did not hurt the Clippers on offense because of the shooting that Green and Landry Shamet provided and if Green attempts 3-point shots and makes them at last year’s rate, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams will have more space to make plays.
Patrick Patterson exercised a $5.7 million option with the Thunder in May but the two sides reached a buyout earlier this month, allowing the veteran to become a free agent and give the Clippers an even deeper bench.
Patterson averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.7 minutes over 63 games (five starts) with the Thunder last season. The 30-year-old is averaging 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21.8 minutes over 622 career games with the Rockets, Kings, Raptors and Thunder and he can be an excellent all-around role player for the Clippers.