Clippers Free Agency Interest: David West, Kevin Seraphin, Javale McGee


DeAndre Jordan signing with the Mavericks has the Clippers searching all corners of the free agent market in hopes of finding a player that would take less money to immediately improve their situations. Without prepping three separate posts to address the rumors, here is a look at a few free agent names the Clippers have been connected to since Jordan’s departure:

David West

When David West declined a player option that’d earn him $12 million, he made it clear his intent was to join a championship contender. According to reports, West had the Warriors and Spurs on his mind but with DeAndre Jordan in Dallas, a starting spot has opened up in LA and per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA, the Clippers are interested.

Is the interest mutual? Depends solely on the source.

In a perfect world, the Clippers find a solid center to throw aside Blake Griffin in the frontcourt, leaving West to play sixth man off the bench. The Clippers situation is far from perfect meaning West joining the Clippers could lead to the two undersized bigs starting together — West-Griffin would provide a solid inside-out dynamic.

The hurdle here is the salary. With Jordan gone (and barring a sign-and-trade involving DJ), the Clippers now have the full mid-level exception at their disposal. Once you subtract Paul Pierce‘s $3.37 million, that leaves the Clippers with nearly $2.088 in MLE money. Could West sign for that? That’s on him.

Truth be told, West signing in LA may depend on how he sees them as a contender in the West. Does West in LA make the Clippers a better contender than he would the Pacers in the East once you factor in conference strength and depth? Once you can answer that question, you may be able to determine where West lands and if that landing spot is Staples Center in red/white/blue.

Kevin Seraphin

Without having played a minute for the franchise, Paul Pierce is doing his due diligence in his attempt to recruit frontcourt talent to the Clippers, per Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

Not too familiar with Seraphin, I do know this: he’s not a center nor is he a rim protecting big. But what he is is a talented body and at this stage in free agency, the Clippers aren’t in the position to deny that without readied alternatives awaiting in the shadows — in 2012-13, Seraphin averaged a career-high 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per.

Again, price matters. Through two days, very little has been revealed in regards to Seraphin’s suitors. Maybe he could be one of the players who take a cheap 1+1 year in hopes of maximizing earnings for the expected cap leap next year.

JaVale McGee

If you knew nothing about basketball and looked at DeAndre Jordan and JaVale McGee, you’d think they were similar-tiered NBA players. Tall. Crazy athletic. Can jump out the gym. Instead, McGee is the less disciplined version of a player who was once poorly disciplined, especially on defense. If things don’t play out in LA’s favor, that less disciplined guy could be a key player for the Clippers come October/November.

A recipient of a buyout from the Philadelphia 76ers ($12 million per reports), the Clippers could possibly sign McGee for cheap if this is the route they choose to go. Maybe Doc Rivers can get McGee to improve as he once did with Jordan. Maybe playing with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can make McGee realize his talents. Maybe CNN can find that plane. After seven near-unproductive season in the NBA, I’m not willing to bet on it but who knows at this point. We’ve seen crazier things happen in the NBA.

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