Clippers Add Cole Aldrich

Rowan Kavner

LOS ANGELES – The Clippers’ Kansas connection continues to run deeper.

After bolstering the depth at the small forward spot with former Kansas Jayhawk Paul Pierce, the Clippers moved on to big-man depth by adding former Jayhawk center Cole Aldrich.

Aldrich averaged 5.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season for the Knicks, posting career highs in both categories.

Much like recent Clippers signee Wesley Johnson, Aldrich was a coveted pick from the 2010 NBA Draft. Aldrich went No. 11 overall, getting his draft rights traded from New Orleans to Oklahoma City, where he spent his first two seasons in the league.

He suited up for the Rockets and Kings during the 2012-13 season before playing for the Knicks each of his last two seasons. For his career, Aldrich has played in 196 games with 18 starts, averaging 3.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in 10.3 minutes per game.

The center was a 2008 NCAA Champion and the 2009 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year at Kansas. The former McDonald’s All-American also played 21 games in the D-League during the 2010-11 season, averaging 10.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Tulsa 66ers.

Last season marked the most action Aldrich had received in his NBA career, averaging a career-high 16.6 minutes per game. The 6-11 center has always been able to hit his free throws, shooting 78.1 percent last year and shooting 78 percent from the line for his career, but last season also gave him an opportunity to post career highs in almost every major statistical category.

The Knicks had a better defensive rating with Aldrich on the floor. He also took full advantage of his starts late in the year, scoring 19 points to go with 14 rebounds April 11 against the Magic. His season finale was even better, scoring 24 points and pulling down 15 rebounds April 15 against the Pistons.