Clippers “will likely waive” point guard Lester Hudson


May 6, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Lester Hudson (14) drives the ball around Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) during the third quarter in game two of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After signing with the Los Angeles Clippers shortly before the end of the regular season, Lester Hudson’s career with the team may be coming to an abrupt end. He only signed his two-year contract with the Clippers on April 11th and has played in just 12 games (five in the regular season and seven in the playoffs). Although, with a backcourt that featured the talent of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers this season, Hudson did well to even make the roster.

Now, though, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has reported that Hudson may be let go.

His upcoming salary for this year is $1,015,421, and seeing as the Clippers need all the money they can get with their extremely limited salary cap, it’s not really surprising that they’re probably going to waive Hudson. Especially as they’re in the process of trying to sign a new power forward (either Josh Smith or Darrell Arthur) to support Blake Griffin.

On top of that, they’ve also added Lance Stephenson now, who will most likely headline their second unit backcourt.

Hudson only played 11.2 minutes per game with the Clippers during the regular season, and averaged 3.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting, 1.6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.2 steals. When converting his production to his averages per 36 minutes, though, his performance (particularly on defense) looks more impressive.

He averaged 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.9 steals. Of course, the sample size of five games is incredibly small, but you have to commend his effort and instincts in passing lanes to come up with 3.9 steals every 36 minutes.

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In the playoffs, Hudson also received minimal playing time (5.4 minutes per game). He did average 13.3 points and 6.6 assists per 36 minutes, but given the toughness of the Clippers’ opponents in the form of the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets, you can’t blame Doc Rivers for leaning on his primary players (just as he always does).

No matter how much passion and energy Lester Hudson played with, the Clippers are clearly set on moving forward with Austin Rivers as their backup to Chris Paul, after signing Doc’s son to a two-year, $6.4 million contract. If they’re able to make a last-minute trade with Hudson (one of their few trade assets) they can get something for him in return. But if they can’t package him in a deal alongside Crawford before his contract becomes guaranteed in a matter of hours, their only real choice is to waive him and save a million in cap space.

Next up in the Clippers’ eventful summer, is whether or not they can sign a new backup big to help their shallow frontcourt. If they can, they’ll have added more depth than most of us probably would have expected.

Next: Who should the Clippers sign? Josh Smith vs. Darrell Arthur