Year four of the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-led Los Angeles Clippers is set to raise the pressure for an NBA Finals title to an all-time. The Clippers looked to use this off-season to return the entire team full of devoted veterans and talented playmakers from last season. The Clippers were able to return all of their key free agents, with the exception of backup center Isaiah Hartenstein, who signed a two-year; $16 million deal with the New York Knicks. Not only did the Clippers return their key free agents, but they added more players they believe could help them contribute to a title. The faith in Clippers Nation is high as Leonard and George are healthy and determined to bring their first title in franchise history.
LA Clippers Sign Three Key Free Agents
Nicolas Batum returns as a fan favorite for the Clippers
When Nicolas Batum came to the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 NBA off-season, he became a fan-favorite for the fans and a key player in head coach Ty Lue’s system. Batum signed a two-year; player-option deal with the Batum for depth after a declining career with the Charlotte Hornets. In his first game as the starting power forward, with Marcus Morris out with an injury, Batum impacted the team immediately.
Batum became one of the Clippers’ best defensive players and a highly efficient three-point shooter. Batum played in 67 games while starting in 38 games in the 2020-2021 NBA season. The Batum Battalion, a devoted fanbase to Batum with the Clippers, was born that season.
It was easy for the Clippers to bring back Batum and offer him another deal. Batum re-signed with the Clippers for a two-year, $22 million contract. He brings a key veteran experience and leadership to the Clippers’ locker room. In his two seasons with the Clippers, Batum has averaged 8.2 points per game, shooting a field goal percentage of 46.3% and a three-point shooting percentage of 40.2%. He has a defensive rating of 109.5 in his two years with the Clippers, higher than his career average of 108.
Amir Coffey gets a career boost with the Clippers
Outside of DeAndre Jordan, Terance Mann, and Brandon Boston Jr., the Clippers have not had many non-first-round drafted players who could contribute to the team. Shooting guard Amir Coffey is a former undrafted player that developed himself into a reliable player that can in a full-season NBA schedule. This was evident when Coffey and the Clippers agreed on a three-year, $11 million contract.
Coffey was given more responsibility for the Clippers due to the injuries of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this past season. This past season, Coffey played in 69 games with 30 starts. He averaged nine points per game, shooting a field-goal percentage of 45.3%, a three-point percentage of 37.8%, and a free-throw line percentage of 86.3%. In the month of February, he averaged 13.9 points per game for the Clippers.
He has been a player that can come off the bench to provide a spark offensively by driving to the basket or from the three-point arc. Coffey is a player who worked his way to a consistent role contributor for the Clippers. His patience and effort were heavily rewarded as he secured an NBA contract for a wealthy price.
John Wall finally joins a championship-caliber team
For several seasons, John Wall tried to create a championship-caliber team with the Washington Wizards. He and Bradley Beal felt confident in their abilities to contend for the title, but the Wizards never made it past the second round with Wall. He couldn’t do the same with the Houston Rockets as the team quickly fell apart. After several years of waiting to be in a bigger market that could contend for a championship, Wall wasted no time signing with the Clippers.
At 31-year old, Wall is looking to contribute immediately to a highly talented and deep Clippers team. After clearing waivers, he signed a two-year, $13.2 million contract with the Clippers.
Wall has not played more than 40 games in a season since the 2017-2018 NBA season due to injuries and the Rockets holding him out. He has been practicing and working out to stay in top shape for the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season.
Whether Wall starts or comes off the bench, he will provide a huge spark to the Clippers’ offense with his high-caliber scoring and his ability to set up great scoring opportunities. When healthy, he is one of the best all-around point guards in the NBA. Wall is a point guard that Kawhi Leonard loves to play with on the court as he can set up great scoring opportunities than Reggie Jackson will. Wall is a court general that will play more with Leonard on the court.