After trying and failing to land superstar Kevin Durant in free agency, the Los Angeles Clippers went to their Plan B, as the team announced that it has re-signed several of last season's key role players in Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah A Moute, and Austin Rivers.
Crawford, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists last season for the Clippers in 79 games (five starts). In his fourth season with the Clippers, he ranked second in the NBA in free throw shooting (.904) and scored in double figures 58 times.
One of the most explosive bench scorers in NBA history and the only three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award, Crawford ranks 89th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (17,076 points) and is 7th on the NBA’s all-time three-pointers list (1,933 three-pointers).
Crawford, 36, averaged 15.5 points and 3.6 assists in 1,100 career games (432 starts) with Chicago, New York, Golden State, Atlanta, Portland and the Clippers.
Also returning to the Clippers backcourt is the 23-year old Rivers, coach Doc Rivers' son. Last season, Rivers averaged 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 67 games (seven starts) in his first full season in Los Angeles.
Rivers appeared in six playoff games for the team last season, and really showed tremendous promise, averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in two playoff starts. The Duke product had 25 games of double-digit scoring in the regular season and led the team in scoring four times. The 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Rivers holds career averages of 7.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 273 games (42 starts) with New Orleans and the Clippers.
With no Durant in the fold, and with Paul Pierce mulling retirement, Mbah A Moute, 29, became a necessity to re-sign at the 3. The former UCLA Bruin and defensive specialist returns to the Clippers for his second season in L.A. after averaging 3.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 75 games (61 starts).
The Clippers went 42-19 in games that he started at forward, as Mbah A Moute allowed the fewest points per defensive possession in isolation in the NBA last season (.469, 50+ defensive possessions). A Cameroon native, Mbah A Moute holds career averages of 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 541 games (362 starts) with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota, Philadelphia and the Clippers.
A six-year NBA veteran, Johnson, 28, averaged 6.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 80 games (nine starts) during his first season with the Clippers. The former fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson scored in double figures 22 times and ranked first in the NBA with a 1.65 steal/turnover ratio last season. In 419 career games (278 starts) with Minnesota, Phoenix, the Lakers and Clippers, the forward has averaged 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services