INSIDER: CLIPPERS LOADED WITH DEPTH ON THE WING

A few minutes after the Clippers concluded their first 2013 Draft workout, Director of Basketball Operations Gerald Madkins forecasted exactly where the team was likely headed in the offseason.

He talked about areas the front office was taking a long look at with a montJamal Crawfrod shooting from the wing.h remaining before the Draft and more than six weeks before any free agent signings could be made official. Becoming more versatile on the wing sounded as though it was more than a priority, but a necessity. He wanted more athletes, more defensive-minded perimeter players, and more depth.

Two months later, in early August, the Clippers have just that.

With the No. 25 pick, they nabbed Reggie Bullock, a 3-point shot-maker who hit 188 3-pointers in three years at North Carolina, eighth most in school history.

“I feel like I’m going to be a spot-up, knock-down shooter,” Bullock said.

When the Clippers selected Bullock, Head Coach Doc Rivers aptly summed up the former Tar Heel. “[He has] size, can play the small forward position, can shoot it on the catch and can defend,” Rivers said. “Those were all the things we had targeted and we got.”

But the Clippers did not stop at Bullock.  

They moved swiftly when free agency opened to lock up superstar Chris Paul, but the priority of getting deeper on the wing remained. They dealt prized young point guard Eric Bledsoe and veteran Caron Butler for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley.

Both are 3-point shooters and while Redick is considered an underrated defensive player, Dudley is thought of as a classic 3-and-D guy. He can serviceably guard any of three positions, has dogged tenacity and should thrive as a starter alongside Paul and Redick or off the bench with Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison.

That’s the beauty of what the Clippers built on the wing. They have an immediate Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Crawford already in the fold, brought back Matt Barnes, who was an integral member of last season’s best defensive lineup and scored a career-high 10.3 points per game, and added Dudley, Redick and Bullock. They are versatile. Crawford and Dudley can handle the ball. Dudley and Barnes can play either forward position and Bullock, at 6-foot-7 can seamlessly alternate between a 2 and a 3.

Lineup-wise, they could use Barnes and Dudley together at times. They could play Redick and Crawford together with Barnes or Dudley sliding up to the 4-spot. They could stick to the traditional rotation of Barnes for Dudley and Crawford for Redick. And that’s not counting Bullock, who looked ready to contribute in his five-game stretch in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Here is a glance at each player the Clippers can utilize on the wing:

Photo of Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford
Height:
6-foot-5 | Weight: 200 lbs.
Age: 33

Highlights:
Runner up for 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year
Led all NBA reserves in fourth-quarter scoring
Set Clippers single-season record for 3-pointers (149)

Key stats from 2012-13:
16.5 ppg | 0.376 3P% | 2.5 apg

 Photo of Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
Height:
6-foot-7 | Weight: 226 lbs.
Age: 33

Highlights:
Averaged a career-high 10.3 points per game in 2012-13
Scored a career-playoff-high 30 points in Game 6 at Memphis
Had 10+ points 40 times off the bench last season

Key stats from 2012-13:
10.3 ppg | 0.342 3P% | 4.6 rpg

 Photo of J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick
Height:
6-foot-4 | Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 29

Highlights:
A career 39.0 percent 3-point shooter
Averaged a career-best 14.1 points per game between Orlando and Milwaukee last year
NBA’s No. 4 leading scorer off the bench least season

Key stats from 2012-13:
14.1 ppg | 0.366 3P% | 3.8 apg

 Photo of Jared Dudley  

Jared Dudley
Height:
6-foot-7 | Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 28

Highlights:
Has shot 42.4 percent from 3-point range in 16 career playoff games
Averaged 10+ points per game in three-straight seasons
Scored 18+ 11 times in 2012-13, including twice off the bench

Key stats from 2012-13:
10.9 ppg | 0.391 3P% | 3.1 rpg

 Photo of Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock
Height:
6-foot-7 | Weight: 205 lbs.
Age: 22

Highlights:
Made 188 3-pointers in three years at UNC, eighth most all-time
Improved points per game, shooting percentage and rebound numbers in each of three seasons at UNC
Played on 2010 McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American teams

Key collegiate stats from 2012-13:
13.9 ppg | 0.436 3P% | 6.5 rpg