first_img Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Before looking ahead, here are the Clippers’ final grades for 2017-18:PATRICK BEVERLY, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Has a team option for 2018-19 seasonCOMMENT: Season-ending knee surgery limited him to 11 games in his first season with the Clippers after they acquired him in the trade last June that sent Paul to the Houston Rockets. He averaged 12.2 points, better than his career average of 9.4, plus 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. His defensive play was what the Clippers missed most of all after he underwent surgery and they struggled at times to slow down opposing guards. He was an outspoken cheerleader on the bench, but that wasn’t where he and the team wanted him to be when things got rough during the season’s home stretch.GRADE: Incomplete AVERY BRADLEY, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agentCOMMENT: He played six games with the Clippers after they acquired him from Detroit, where he had been troubled by an abdominal injury. Surgery ended his season, but he’s expected to be fully recovered by the time training camp begins in the fall. It’s uncertain where he’ll be then, though.GRADE: IncompleteSAM DEKKER, ForwardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2018-19 seasonCOMMENT: Although he played in 73 games in his first season after a trade from Houston, his minutes dropped to 12.1 from 18.4 last season with the Rockets. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds but shot only 16.7 percent on 3-pointers and wasn’t a major part of the rotation.GRADE: CJAWUN EVANS, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2019-2020 seasonCOMMENT: The rookie point guard averaged 4.8 points in 48 games until he underwent season-ending abdominal injury. He’s expected to be sound once training camp begins in the fall and the coaches like his aggressiveness with and without the ball, so there might be a role for him.GRADE: BDANILO GALLINARI, ForwardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2019-2020 seasonCOMMENT: Hand and gluteus maximus injuries limited him to 21 games in his first season with the Clippers after an offseason trade with the Denver Nuggets. When he played, he was productive, averaging 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists. He simply didn’t play enough to make enough of an impact. He hasn’t played all 82 games in a season in his career and has played 70 or more only twice. He sat out all of 2014-14 with a knee injury. Keeping him healthy is a priority.GRADE: IncompleteMONTREZL HARRELL, Forward/CenterCONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agentCOMMENT: He proved to be more than a throw-in player in the offseason trade with the Rockets, providing depth scoring and rebounding and what seemed like an unlimited supply of energy game after game. He averaged 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 17 minutes in 76 games. He was the first player since Dell Curry in 1988-89 to average 11 points or more in 17 minutes or less. He also was third in the NBA with a 63.5 field-goal percentage. No one played harder, though.GRADE: ATOBIAS HARRIS, ForwardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2018-19 seasonCOMMENT: He was a key part of the Clippers’ trade that sent Griffin to the Pistons at midseason. He averaged 19.3 points on 47.3 percent shooting in 32 games with the Clippers after the blockbuster deal. He gave the Clippers another offensive weapon and it’s easy to envision how effective he could be with a healthy roster around him next season. His perimeter game improved considerably as his 3-point shooting percentage soared to 41.1 percent overall in 2017-18, up from his career average of 35.5. He was a difference-making small forward during his short tenure with the Clippers.GRADE: AWESLEY JOHNSON, ForwardCONTRACT STATUS: Has a player’s option for 2018-19COMMENT: He averaged 5.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 74 games, including 40 starts. He was a streaky shooter, making 57.7 percent of his 3-point attempts over a five-game stretch in November, the highest percentage over any five-game stretch in his career. He shot 33.9 percent overall from the arc by season’s end and wasn’t a consistent offensive weapon despite an enhanced role because of injuries.GRADE: CDEANDRE JORDAN, CenterCONTRACT STATUS: Has a player’s option for 2018-19COMMENT: Will he or won’t he return for the final season (and $24 million) of his contract with the Clippers? It was hard to know at season’s end. He wouldn’t divulge his plans, but it looked as if he might have played his final game after 10 seasons with the Clippers. He and Doc Rivers embraced after the final buzzer of their season finale. His family was in attendance and he told beat reporters he wanted to be wanted and to play with a team that wanted to win. He certainly would be welcomed back with open arms by the coaching staff after averaging career highs in rebounding (15.2, second-best in the NBA,) and field-goal percentage (64.5 percent). He’s not likely to find more money as a free agent than the $24 million he’ll get from the Clippers next season. But after 10 seasons in the league, it might be more about trying to win a championship than earning a big paycheck for 2018-19 and beyond.GRADE: ABOBAN MARJANOVIC, CenterCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2018-19 seasonCOMMENT: He arrived in the trade from Detroit and became an instant fan favorite because of his YouTube dance routines with Harris. He also showed he could play a little when given the chance, helping the Clippers rally for a late-season victory at Denver, for example. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 8.3 minutes in 20 games in a backup role after the trade.GRADE: BAUSTIN RIVERS, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Has a player’s option for 2018-19COMMENT: He averaged career highs for points (15.1), assists (4), 3-point shooting percentage (37.8) and minutes (33.7) in 61 games, including 59 starts. It’s uncertain whether he’ll decide to return for the final season of his Clippers contract, which will pay him $12.65 million for 2018-19. His role was enhanced because of injuries to several of the Clippers’ other guards, and he stepped up his game and emerged as something of a team leader with so many others sidelined.GRADE: AMILOS TEODOSIC, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Has a player’s option for 2018-19COMMENT: He was limited to 45 games because of plantar fascia injuries in his left foot. He averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists in his rookie season, after finally jumping to the NBA as a 30-year-old point guard with an exceptional résumé in Europe. Most impressively, the Clippers were 29-16 with him in their lineup and 12-2 when he had six or more assists. They also were 16-7 when he scored 10 points or more. He can opt out of the final year (and $6.3 million) of his contract.GRADE: IncompleteSINDARIUS THORNWELL, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2019-2020 seasonCOMMENT: He had a typical rookie season, going through the emotional and physical roller-coaster of his first year in the NBA. He averaged 3.9 points in 73 games, including 17 starts. His goal is improving his perimeter shooting for 2018-19. Defense is what the Clippers like most about him.GRADE: BTYRONE WALLACE, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agentCOMMENT: He scored 10 or more points in 15 of his 30 games with the Clippers after signing a two-way contract. He and Clippers management couldn’t agree on a long-term contract, though.GRADE: AC.J. WILLIAMS, Forward/GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2019-2020 seasonCOMMENT: He started the season on a two-way contract and ended it by signing a three-year NBA deal after averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 38 games with the Clippers, including 17 starts. He fit perfectly into the Clippers’ new identity as a hard-nosed team.GRADE: ALOU WILLIAMS, GuardCONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2020-2021 seasonCOMMENT: He’s a heavy favorite to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award for the second time in his career. He averaged career highs in points (22.6), assists (5.3) and minutes (32.8) and led the Clippers in scoring and assists. He also became the first player in primarily a reserve role to average more than 20 points and 5 assists since the NBA began keeping track of bench statistics in 1970-71. The Clippers rewarded him with a three-year, $24 million contract extension Feb. 7.GRADE: ARelated Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 No question, the Clippers are a franchise in transition. That was true before they tossed the ball up to start 2017-18. They had traded Chris Paul, welcomed nine new players and shuffled their front office team, with Coach Doc Rivers relieved of his management duties.The Clippers then traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons and tried to deal DeAndre Jordan to the Cleveland Cavaliers as they continued their rebuilding during the season. Or, “reshaping,” as president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank termed it.In the end, the Clippers remained competitive despite two franchise-altering trades and a string of debilitating injuries that derailed their chances at a seventh consecutive playoff appearance and a sixth straight season with 50 wins or more.The Clippers are likely to have two lottery picks, their own and the protected one they got from the Pistons in the Griffin trade. They also have plenty of salary-cap space after trading Paul and Griffin and might get more if Jordan decides to opt out of his contract. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more