Clippers NBA Offseason Targets: F Lavoy Allen


Cheap is the key for the Clippers.

With limited funds going into the summer of 2015 to correct a lousy bench, the Clippers’ ability to scout capable players who’ll earn cheap 2015-16 deals could be the difference in the group falling in Round 2 of the Western Conference playoffs or finally advancing into the Western Conference finals — which would be a franchise first — and possibly beyond.

With that said, one name that could help improve the frontcourt is Indiana Pacers big and unrestricted free agent Lavoy Allen.

Who Is He?

Name: Lavoy Allen

Position: Power Forward

Experience: 4 years

Height: 6’9

2014-15 Stats: 5.0 points, 47 FG%, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 blocks, 14.9 PER

Free Agency Situation

An unrestricted free agent this summer, whether Allen returns to the Pacers — or to better state it, if they’re interested in a return — will depend on immediate personnel moves made by the franchise. Going into the summer, the Pacers have one big on the books, Ian Mahinmi, two pending free agents, Roy Hibbert and David West (player options), Luis Scola, an unrestricted free agent, and the 11th pick in the draft, an option that could lend to the addition of another big man as Hibbert and West could be out the door in 2016. With Hibbert and West likely to return for 2015, Allen’s time as a member of the Indiana Pacers could be curtains.

Highlight of Choice

What The Internet is Saying

Lavoy Allen played a much bigger role this year than anticipated due to David West/Roy Hibbert/Ian Mahinmi all missing time. His ability to play both the power forward and center position was big for a team that never got healthy, and he showed flashes of very useful skills on the offensive end; excellent rebounding instincts, an uncanny ability to score tip-ins, and solid high-low passing, to name a few. He got worked some on D, and isn’t nearly the rim protect that Hibbert and Mahinmi is, but he showed flashes of an NBA rotation guy, and probably outplayed his contract. – 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Allen’s bottom line is that he showed more of what he can do, but lost a bit of the upside argument he had going for him last season. He seems to have established himself as a player who belongs in the league, but falls into the dreaded tweener category between center and power forward. Still, he has the kind of skill set that can help any team, and he has the sort of quiet, unassuming demeanor that allows him to accept a backup role. At times, he might be too quiet and unassuming, however.

On the Floor

Given how important Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are to the Clippers, whoever their backups are don’t need to be perfect or incredible talents. Just person(s) who can impact the game in short bursts and sustain what the starters created in that time. In Indiana, Allen displayed the talents to do so.

He’s not perfect, but Allen’s a step up from the reserve power forward rotation Clippers fans have endured since 2013.

Offensively, Allen has a nice touch around the rim and, from time to time,  flashed the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper, as seen by his inconsistent ’14-15 shot chart below:

Per NBA Stats, Allen shot 35.7% (50-for-140) from mid-range last season — for reference, Blake Griffin 40.3% and Glen Davis shot 21.9% from the same area last year. Some good news on this front despite the small sample size, Allen shot 39% on wide open shots (6+ feet between self and defender) — playing alongside Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick, reactions from the defense could lead to more open shots for Allen as opposed to playing in a Pacers offense without Paul George for majority of the season.

Defensively, Allen could replicate what Davis provided plus a hint of rim protection due to his length. Per Nylon Calculus’ rim protection stat, Allen allowed opponents to shoot 48.5% at the rim last season. If Allen was a Clipper, the same as DeAndre Jordan — on less shot attempts — and nearly two percent less than Blake Griffin and Spencer Hawes‘ rim protection stats. If Doc Rivers will trot out Spencer Hawes as the backup center next season, having some resemblance of a rim protector is imperative and Allen be the player to provide such.

Another area of use where Allen excelled in — though it likely wouldn’t matter in Los Angeles due to scheme — is on the offensive glass, averaging 2.0 per game despite only playing 17 minutes a game. In general, Allen made an impact on the glass, averaging a career-high 10.9 per-36 minutes.

Chances of Signing

It’s not exactly clear and cut that Allen will be available for the veterans minimum, one of the few exception the Clippers have at their disposal to acquire new talent. But if he is available at said price, I’d put Allen signing  with LAC in the “high” to “very high” range — plus, Allen had his best game of the season (14 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists) against the Clippers, so it may be smart to move the that range to 100%; Doc may even offer him the full mini-mid level if we’re not careful.

Next: Clippers offseason targets: F Richard Jefferson