Team RankingPTS/GOPP PTS/G
Pacific Division108.7 (2nd)104.4 (2nd)
Western Conference4th6th
Mejia's Offseason Grade
The same-ol' Clippers syndrome surfaced when Bobby Simmons skipped town, but you have to give the team credit for spending some money and filling the void with free agent Cuttino Mobley. He'll undoubtedly force Corey Maggette to the small forward spot, allowing them to keep their strength on the wing intact. Grade: B.
Key Players
Corey Maggette: Maggette will serve as the Clippers' primary scoring option on offense.
Elton Brand: Brand has consistently averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in his career.
Role Playing
Sam Cassell, Guard
The Godfather: Entering his 13th season, Cassell clearly has the respect of backup Shaun Livingston, who referred to him as the godfather of the team and someone he can't wait to learn from. That's great news if Cassell can be a positive influence and rebound from last year's disappointing, injury-riddled final season with Minnesota. He's a much greater perimeter threat than Livingston or the departed Marko Jaric, which should make things more fluid offensively.
Shaun Livingston, Guard
The Phenom: The 20-year-old displayed flashes of brilliance last year, but considering how difficult it is to make a splash right out of high school at the game's most cerebral position, it didnít help that he played in just 30 games because of to injuries. He's 10 pounds heavier as his sophomore season begins and has a mentor in place in Cassell, easing the pressure on him to put the playmaking duties on his shoulders. Hopefully that will keep him in the lineup enough to gain much needed experience.
Chris Wilcox, Forward
Mature contributor: Mike Dunleavy has gone out on a limb and stated that a great year from Wilcox would "definitely" deliver a playoff berth, and it's easy to understand why. The Clips had a strong start when the former lottery pick was content and producing, then fell off when his rebounding and defending was no longer sufficient enough to merit significant playing time. If he can put it all together, L.A.'s frontcourt would be deep and dangerous.
Burning Question
Is there enough in place to reach the postseason in the ultra-competitive West?
With a brand new backcourt arriving, the Clippers are hoping they have enough talent to do it. Chris Kaman has shown consistent improvement, and Corey Maggette and Elton Brand are already one of the top forward combos in the league, so why shouldn't L.A. feel like it can contend? In order to finish among the top eight, Cassell must have a grand exit left in him, Cuttino Mobley must return reinvigorated, and the promising Livingston must stay healthy and continue to improve. Unfortunately, Mike Dunleavy's team can't afford to start slow, and there might be an adjustment period as the guards look to find their niche.
Shaun Livingston has a lot of talent and hopes to stay away from injuries that riddled his rookie season. (Getty Images)
Team Projections
Projected finish: 4th, Pacific division
Projected win total: 33-40
Team MVP: Elton Brand
Leading scorer: Corey Maggette
Leading rebounder: Brand
Leading assists: Sam Cassell
Top defender: Brand
Stat Rankings
Stat Rank Total
Pts Scored 19 95.7
Pts Against 12 96.5
Rebounds 17t 41.9
FG% 4t 45.9
PG Sam Cassell
Looking to prove he's still got plenty left and restore a rep that took a hit last season.
SG Cuttino Mobley
Will get every opportunity to replace Bobby Simmons as the team's No. 3 threat.
SF Corey Maggette
Has quietly become one of the Western Conference's most proficient scorers.
PF Elton Brand
He has been one of the league's most productive power forwards since Day 1.
C Chris Kaman
Is this the year the 7-footer breaks through?
Team Depth Chart
Player Movement
Movement Player Pos.
Key loss Bobby Simmons SF
Key gain Sam Cassell PG
Key re-signing Zeljko Rebraca C
Player Movement Chart
2016-17 Team Leaders
PPGBlake Griffin , PF21.6
RPGDeAndre Jordan , C13.8
APGChris Paul , PG9.2
FG%DeAndre Jordan , C71.4
FT%Chris Paul , PG89.2
3P%JJ Redick , SG42.9
BLOCKSDeAndre Jordan , C134
STEALSChris Paul , PG119
MPGBlake Griffin , PF34
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