Los Angeles Clippers roster 2013: Doc Rivers leads deep team with championship aspirations


Rivers takes over a loaded team that re-signed Chris Paul and made it a point to add shooting this offseason.

The Los Angeles Clippers enjoyed their best season in franchise history in 2012-13, posting a 56-26 record and earning the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. The year ended in disappointment, however, after falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the postseason.

Los Angeles made some key moves this offseason, starting with the acquisition of head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics. The Clippers then inked Chris Paul to a five-year max contract extension before making another splash with the three-way deal that sent Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley.

With Paul back in the fold and quality additions on the court and the sideline, the Clippers are in line to have an even better season in 2013-14. Perhaps this time around a deep playoff run will be in order.

Projected starters 

Chris Paul -- Paul is the straw that stirs the Clippers' drink. Last year, he showed why he's still regarded as the best point guard in the NBA. Paul nearly averaged a double-double and he posted the third-best PER in the league. CP3's presence was integral to the Clippers' offensive success, as the team scored nearly 11 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, per NBA.com. Injuries are always a concern with Paul and he did miss 12 games last year. If he stays healthy, the Clippers should be a legitimate title contender.

J.J. Redick -- Redick became a bit of a forgotten man by the end of his time with the Milwaukee Bucks, but he finds himself in an ideal situation now. Redick's shooting ability will help space the floor for the Clippers and he should get plenty of open looks from deep playing alongside Paul. Redick is also an underrated ball-handler, so he can help take some of the pressure off Paul.

Jared Dudley -- Dudley had a lost season in Phoenix last year, but now he has a chance to contribute on a title contender. Like Redick, Dudley will help bolster the Clippers' three-point shooting attack. Dudley shot 39 percent from deep last year, and he's at an excellent 41 percent over the course of his career. Dudley's defense does leave something to be desired, and the duo of him and Redick on the wing isn't too imposing on that end, but ideally the offensive punch can make up for any of those defensive shortcomings.

Blake Griffin -- Griffin has been the subject of some debate over the past few years. After averaging 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds his rookie season, Griffin has seen his per-game numbers dip each of the past two years. While much of this can be attributed to fewer minutes and less scoring responsibility, he still gets criticized for not showing much statistical improvement. In any case, Griffin is extremely important to the Clippers. If the Clippers are going to make a title run, Griffin will have to be at his best.

DeAndre Jordan -- Jordan is an interesting case. The big man had the best statistical season of his career last year, averaging 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds on 64 percent shooting. However, his offensive game remains severely limited, his free-throw shooting is atrocious and his defense is nothing to write home about. Throw in the fact that he has been largely useless in the postseason, and you don't really have a guy worthy of his $11 million a year price tag. The physical tools are there, and at just 25 years old, he can still improve.

Rotation players

Jamal Crawford -- Crawford was the key player on the NBA's best bench last season, providing scoring in bunches. The 33-year-old averaged 16.5 points in under 30 minutes per game, and he'll be expected to play a similar sixth-man role this upcoming season.

Matt Barnes -- Barnes provided great value with a minimum salary last season, averaging 10.3 points and 4.6 rebounds while providing length on the wing. The Clippers gave Barnes a raise with a three-year deal this offseason, and he's expected to back up Dudley.

Darren Collison -- Collison takes the place of the departed Bledsoe as the backup point guard, and while he may not have Bledsoe's athleticism, there shouldn't be too much of a downgrade. Collison started 47 out of 81 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season, averaging 12 points and 5.1 assists a game.

Antawn Jamison - Jamison switched L.A. teams this offseason, and he fits in with the Clippers' offseason theme of adding shooters. He may be 37 years old and coming off an injury, but Jamison could be effective as a stretch 4 playing with Paul.

Byron Mullens - Yet another offensive-minded bench player, the pairing of Mullens and Jamison as the primary bigs off the bench could cause some problems on the defensive end. It will be interesting to see how Rivers juggles his big man rotation to try and maximize the output on both ends of the floor.

Deep bench

Willie Green -- Green started 60 games last season and enjoyed his second straight season of strong shooting behind the arc. After knocking down 44 percent of his threes in 2011-12 with the Atlanta Hawks, Green hit 43 percent last year. However, the additions of Dudley and Redick push him far down the depth chart.

Reggie Bullock -- Bullock, the No. 25 pick in the draft out of North Carolina, will provide even more shooting. The rookie averaged 18 points at the Vegas Summer League.

Ryan Hollins -- Hollins returns to the Clippers on a one-year deal to provide frontcourt depth. The 28-year-old has familiarity with Rivers, having played under him as a Celtic in 2011-12.

Head coach

Doc Rivers -- With the Celtics on the verge of a rebuild, Rivers saw the writing on the wall and let it be known he wanted out. The Clippers were Rivers' preferred destination, and after plenty of drama that included talks of a possible package deal involving him, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the head coach found himself in Los Angeles without his old stars.

Not getting Pierce and Garnett to join in may be somewhat of a disappointment, but Rivers is a clear upgrade over the departed Vinny Del Negro. He brings championship experience to the Clippers and, with so much talent in place, expectations for a title will come along with that.

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