Markazi of ESPN: ‘Clippers to make roster move soon’


When it comes to Los Angeles Clippers basketball, there are two names that come to mind when speaking on writers who are plugged in with the franchise: Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi, both beat writers covering all LA happenings for ESPN. That’s why when either writer speaks, people usually listen as they’re well-sourced and connected.

Likely referring to intel received from within the organization, Markazi, in one of his latest pieces, hinted at the Clippers adding another body “soon”.

From ESPN Los Angeles:

"Whether or not the Los Angeles Clippers win the Josh Smith sweepstakes when he clears waivers Wednesday and sign him to a veteran’s minimum deal or he goes elsewhere, the team will most likely make a roster move within the next couple of weeks."

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  • With little lead in which direction the Clippers are headed, it’s most likely the front office experiments with 10-day contracts as the January 5th date is right around the corner. In general, a few names that come to mind as possible additions to the Clippers include Ray Allen (a long shot, but must be kept on radar as former Doc player), Jermaine O’Neal (O’Neal made it known he’s in shape to play; he’s also a former player under Rivers), Emeka Okafor (missed all of last season, but is expected to sign with a team late in the season — noted as defensive-minded big), Ivan Johnson (the Clippers showed interest in him last season), or a handful of players participating in the Chinese Basketball Association (Andray Blatche, Michael Beasley, etc).

    As it has been mentioned before in several posts, the addition of a player will have to come at the cost of subtraction from the current roster. Right now, the Clippers have hit their ceiling in terms of roster players with 15, the league limit — they’d have to remove a player from the equation to add one. The most likely candidate of disposal is third-string point guard Jared Cunningham. While he’s shown flashes as a player, especially on defense, he’s expendable and the lone non-guaranteed contract for LA. Releasing Cunningham isn’t the Clippers only option — Rivers could replicate last years moves which sent Byron Mullens to Philly and Antawn Jamison to Atlanta at the trade deadline alongside 2nd-round picks for no players in return, clearing space for the Clippers to eventually add Glen Davis and Danny Granger.

    Attempting to get a grasp on where the Clippers are right now in terms of adding personnel, Rivers and company likely aren’t in a rush. If the big man stays on his timetable, Spencer Hawes will be available after missing several games with a knee injury. Chris Douglas-Roberts is finally healthy and Reggie Bullock has performed well in his backup role as of late. Now is the most opportune time to see if the current rotation players are worth an extended tryout period going into the new year. If the current play remains, they’ll be out like Jamison and Mullens were.

    Fact of the matter is, barring injury, the Clippers can only go up from here. They’re good — the 20-11 record indicates that — but something has been missing, with the biggest culprit being a lack of talent outside of the Paul/Griffin/Jordan trio. Maybe the guy they bring in will be the best step for righting this wobbly ship. Lord knows the Clippers need it.

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