A whole lotta’ head shakin’ going on…
At first, I thought this was a terrible deal for both teams, but now I’m not so sure.
We’ll have to see how CP3 can play in D’Antoni’s system. Besides the obvious “two point guards, only one ball” argument, we have to consider how quickly he will wear down in their fast tempo offense. Houston fans, stop reading now…
Just look what happened to Kobe at 2:48 in this video, after D’Antoni allowed him to play huge minutes for the right to get swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Kobe was 34 years old at the time. CP3, at 32, is a point guard, which involves even more running, as he will be responsible for playing defense against the most explosive players in the league for the entire game. Kobe hadn’t played defense for a whole game since he was in his twenties.
For the Clippers, if CP3 was going to leave anyway, Jerry West made some great moves here. According to 538’s website, when Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are on the floor by themselves, they outscore their opponents by 5.5 points.
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Patrick Beverly is an elite defender, so if they get help at shooting guard with rookie Sindarius Thornwell, they might become a very good defensive team that keeps games close (Beverly-Reddick/Thornwell-Griffin-Mbah Moute-Jordan).
But the real steal is getting Lou Williams.
Had he stayed with the Lakers, he could have been 6th Man of the Year, instead of his teammate Eric Gordon. I think West remembered what Williams and the Lakers’ bench did to Golden State during those heady, optimistic days at the beginning of last season, when they outscored the Warriors’ bench 61–31 and won the game by 20 points. No, that was not a typo.
Williams shot better, rebounded better and had more assists during the regular season than Gordon. And the comparison is not even close with Jamal Crawford. Just look at their PERs: Williams (21.44), Gordon (13.22) and Crawford (12.06).
Crawford will be paid $6M more next year than Williams, is seven years older and was consistently bad last year. If West can dump Crawford and getting anything in return, that’s a another fantastic move.
Williams helped give the Lakers’ the best bench in the NBA by almost every statistical metric. If Williams helps the Clippers bench become a positive force, the Clippers will still be a playoff team, while getting younger, freeing cap space and getting a 2018 first round draft pick.
While I don’t think the Clippers will be a 50-win team, the Warriors are set up to dominate for the next three to four years, so all these moves by West are a huge help in the long game.
With Doc running the show, he would have probably just resigned his big three, and the Clippers would have imploded next season.