We preview the Los Angeles Clippers and the impact their players will have on the 2016-2017 fantasy basketball season.
Last season we saw another year of successful and highly entertaining regular season basketball from the Clippers; And last season we saw yet another year of disappointing playoff losses.
Despite losing to the Trailblazers in the first round, the Clippers are going to come ready for regular season basketball. Going 53-29 was good enough for the Clippers to get the 4th seed in the wild wild Western Conference.
Chris Paul will continue his floor general talents and average at or over 10 assists per game. Blake Griffin, given a successful injury recovery, will continue to be a top tier scoring and rebounding power forward and Deandre Jordan returns as the leagues second best rebounder and shot blocker. The power trio will be accompanied by their deep bench and a few great fantasy picks.
|Alan Anderson Washington Wizards
Brice Johnson NBA Draft
Marreese Speights Golden State Warriors
Raymond Felton Dallas Mavericks
|Cole Aldrich Minnesota Timberwolves
Jeff Green Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Clippers Depth Chart
Luc Mbah a Moute
Rotation Player Projections
Starting Small Forward: Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute
Luc Mbah a Moute filled the void at small forward last year. However, The Clippers added Wesley Johnson to the roster mid-season and seems ready to challenge Mbah a Moute for the starting spot. Mbah a Moute started in sixty one games last year, despite only averaging 3.1 points per game. Johnson started 9 games last year, but averaged 6.9 points per game as well as slightly better stats in assists, rebounding, and free throw %. If Wesley Johnson continues to work in the Clippers system, plan to see him start a lot more games and get more minutes than Luc Mbah a Moute.
Decrease in Value
Despite being the controversial reigning NBA 6th man of the year, Crawford's stats and production have been steadily declining the past four years of his wildly successful eighteen year career in the league. His points per game average is down to 14.2, from 18.6 two years prior and has only ended the season averaging more than 3 assists and 2 rebounds per game one time in the past four years. His minutes per game also went down to 26.9 minutes a game as opposed to 30.3 in 2013-14 and 29.3 in 2012-13. Not saying Crawford wont be a decent piece on any fantasy team, but the decrease in stat trends tend to continue late in an athletes career.
Griffin is hoping to bounce back from a disastrous and injury filled season last year. After healing from a partially torn left quadriceps he underwent an injury to his hand after punching a Clippers equipment staff member. Yet again, following his return to the team and ultimately the playoff series against the Portland Trailblazers, Griffin injured his left quad during game four. No doubt Griffin is an elite NBA all-star, but injuries can linger and can kill your fantasy team if the Clippers choose to be safe playing Griffin next year.
Other Player Summaries
JJ Reddick Threes
Reddick is coming off of a 88% FT, 48% FG, and 47.5% 3-point shooting season, having played in 75 games. He was also averaging close to a career high in points per game with 16.3. His success with the Clippers should ride on and make a valuable player for your shot % categories.
Paul Pierce Old
As great as The Truth once was, he's not what he was in Boston anymore. In LA, Pierce has only averaged 6.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1 assist per game; All of which are career lows. Pierce didn't come to LA to average 20+ points per game and you shouldn't draft him on your team expecting him to have a stat heavy season.
Chris Paul Point Guard God
He's led the league in steals 6 times, and in assists 4 times. He has also shot around 90% from the FT line for 2 years and is dedicated to leading his Clippers to countless regular season wins year after year. Chris Paul is a great early draft pick simply for basketball reasons.
Deandre JordanPunt FT%
In every league I've ever been in, Jordan tends to be drafted a little late due in part to guard/forward bias. Jordan is one of the best big men in the league, leading the league in FG% the past 4 years and has averaged 13+ rebounds per game for the past 3 years. Think carefully about when you should draft Jordan because of his FT%, but year after year he remains one of the more valuable centers in the league.