aka Don Allen
Just about the time you think the roster is set, the Clippers go out and make another move. Things are about to get a little crazier in Clipperland as Ronny Turiaf, the NBA's most prolific cheerleader and all around crazy guy, is about to become a Clipper. The Clippers not only added to their depth at center and power forward, but added another player who continues the Clippers quest to have quality guys and a quality locker room.
This signing, reported be at the vets minimum, marks a return to Los Angeles where Ronny started his NBA career. But his career started with a life threatening condition that required heart surgury before he ever played his first game. After he recovered, he became a fan favorite in LA because of the energy he brought to the court and his eye popping antics on the sidelines as he cheered his team on. Expect to see a lot of dancing and celebrative towel waving along the bench as the Clippers win games. And expect to see a lot of heart and energy on the floor that will remind you of Reggie Evans, who was our energy guy last season.
Ronny will not bring big numbers or stats to the Clippers. For his career he has scored 5ppg with 4rpg in 18 minutes. However, in the last 4 seasons he has shot 60% from the field and 68% from the line. At age 29, Ronny is 6' 10", and could be used at center or power forward.
It is obvious that the Clippers are determined to have plenty of depth in their lineup to protect the team against players who get in four trouble or players who get injured. Ronny brings playoff experience and a guy who what it is like to win a championship. He played for Miami last season and this summer, Turiaf is playing for France in the Olympics.
The Clippers recently announced the signing of 27 year old Ryan Hollins to back up DeAndre Jordan at the center position. Ryan is also making his return to LA where he played his college ball at UCLA. Ryan's numbers are not going to raise any eyebrows because he has been a back up center his whole career. He has averaged 4ppg and 2rpg but has shot a respectable 58% from the field and 65% from the line.
Adding another 7' center like Ryan to the lineup add depths in an area where the Clippers were weak last season. When DJ left the game last season we were often replacing him with shorter players who couldn't shoot free throws either. Notice that both Ryan Hollins and Ronny Turiaf are at least respectable free throw shooters. If teams employ the "Hack a DJ" tactic late in the 4th quarter the Clippers will now have an answer.
The Clippers are probably not finished yet. They will probably fill one more position to bring the roster to 14. The smart money is on signing a 3 point shooting specialist in the form of a combo guard or wing who can play the 2 and the 3. This final piece to the puzzle will make this one of the deepest teams the Clippers have ever had. There is some talk of bringing back Bobby Simmons or maybe even Adam Morrison who had a great summer league run where he shot a very high percentage from the floor and from 3. There was also a false report of the Clippers signing Willie Green. Personally, I am anticipating the Clippers hit us with another big surprise.