The big story in Clipper territory these days is the re-signing of Kawhi Leonard to a 4-year, $176 million deal — the crowning jewel of a successful summer for Los Angeles. In addition to Leonard, L.A. re-signed their two biggest free-agent prioritizes — Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum — despite valid concerns that they may not.
The Clippers also did reasonably well in the draft. In the first round, they turned the 25th pick into the 21st to get the player they wanted, high-flying defensive force Keon Johnson. And in the second round, they landed point guard Jason Preston (a favorite of personnel head honcho Lawrence Frank) and wing Brandon Boston, who has looked stunningly smooth and confident in the Summer League and is already creating steal-of-the-draft vibes after going 51st. Both Preston and Boston recently signed three-year deals with final-year player options.
Additionally, the Clippers took a two-year, $8 million free agency flyer on the talented and versatile but injury-prone Justise Winslow. The 25-year-old point-to-forward, who was signed with a portion of the taxpaying midlevel exception and is the progeny of Rickie Winslow, a member of Houston’s Phi Slama Jama, hasn’t played a fully healthy season since he was 22 in Miami. If Winslow can stay off the trainer’s table, this could be a rebirth season for 2015’s 10th overall pick out of Duke.
Between the re-signings and depth creation, the organization’s stated offseason goals have been met, and expectations for the coming season remain high despite having to watch their best player, Leonard, gobble up $40 million from a PT facility.
But in meeting these goals, a situation has arisen: too many players. Come the start of the regular season in October, only 15 spots will be available (plus two two-way players) and right now the Clippers have 17.