2010-11 NBA Preview: Los Angeles Clippers

There’s a reason we saved the Clippers for last. It’s not because they have no talent worthy of a fantasy roster, but because, well, they’re the Clippers. Let’s look at the lineup and then we’ll talk.

Depth Chart
PG: Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe
SG: Eric Gordon, Randy Foye
SF: Ryan Gomes, Rasual Butler, Al-Farouq Aminu
PF: Blake Griffin, Craig Smith, Brian Cook
C: Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan, Jaron Collins

Blake Griffin had a pre-season that made it look like he might live up to his #1 pick status. But his presence in the lineup means less shots for his frontcourt partner, Chris Kaman. Kaman plays center, though, which is always worth something and his FG% and Rebounds should be consistent even if his Points go down.

Other than those two, you’ve got Baron Davis and Eric Gordon. The former is heading into the traditional downslope of an NBA career. Despite posting a career high in FT% and dishing 8 dimes a game, Davis was just good enough to keep himself in fantasy leagues. If you’ve got a small ball team, then Davis is a good fit to contribute (a little at least) in categories like Threes, FT%, Assists, and Steals – as long as you’re not relying on him as your primary PG.

Gordon is heading into his third year and looks primed for a 3rd year bump if he can stay healthy. His recent ankle injury doesn’t sound bad, and we know that he can fill up the bucket when he’s hot. That said, his ability to score is about all he’ll give you. His 1.1 steals puts him above the league average in that category, but his Assists are weak and his FT% took a 10 point leap backward last season, despite the fact that he only took 0.3 more free throws per game. Draft him and cross your fingers that his 3-pointers will make up for him hurting you in those other traditional small ball categories.

I once thought that Ryan Gomes was going to be a decent fantasy player, but I have resigned myself to letting him float away into the land of NBA role players who start for bad teams.

DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith should be mentioned simply because most people have probably already completed their drafts without knowing those names, and while that’s as it should be, if Chris Kaman or Blake Griffin get injured Jordan and Smith will be happy to gather up the available rebounds and turn back some shots down low.

GMTR Guidance (if you really still need it… I have it on good authority that the season starts Tuesday, but maybe there’s some people whose commissioners didn’t get the league together in time to draft before the start of the season)
Baron Davis – 5th round
Chris Kaman – 6th/7th round
Blake Griffin – 6th/7th Round
Eric Gordon – 7th round

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