The Los Angeles Clippers continue to make moves in the offseason to improve their club and address specific needs. The Clips have a lot of guards, but they need some quality big men inside who can pull down some rebounds and play some good defense. A few years ago the Clippers were not an attractive free agent destination, but now they are the type of team that is intriguing to those athletes that are looking to join a winning franchise. The latest addition is Ronny Turiaf, a veteran big man who will add size inside and veteran savvy to the lineup.
Fitting a role
I like this move, as Turiaf may be able to fill a Kenyon Martin-type role. Turiaf is not necessarily as good as K-Mart, but he may be able to be that second unit blue collar guy that comes in, plays some defense and pulls down some crucial boards. Both Kenyon and Reggie Evans were important contributors last year, and hopefully Ronny can be a key reserve that cleans the glass for Los Angeles.
Minutes and health
When you look at Turiaf's statistics, you don't exactly see a picture of health or consistent productivity. He has bounced around the NBA a bit and in some seasons he has had some trouble staying on the floor. Hopefully he can stay healthy for the Clips and be a key reserve off the bench. In reality, the Clippers don't necessarily need Turiaf to give them a lot of minutes. Ten minutes a night may be just right for a guy that needs to give Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan a rest.
Thinking about CP3
This move is about helping the squad for next year, but I have to imagine that bringing in players like Turiaf, Ryan Hollins and Grant Hill are also about sending a message to Chris Paul. The message is that the Clippers are going to do everything that they can to surround the talented point guard with the help he needs to win a championship. If CP3 is going to re-sign with the Clippers after next season, he will need to feel like this is a franchise that is committed to winning.
Ronny Turiaf is not a particularly major signing, but he is symbolic of a team that is trying to address needs and prepare for another deep playoff run.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he waits patiently for the Sonics to return to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he roots for the Clippers to become a winning franchise, and perhaps even the most popular team in their own city. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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