After dealing veteran Jared Dudley to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Clippers have decided to sign Detroit native and free agent guard Chris Douglas Roberts along with former Buck big man Ekpe Udoh.
“Chris and Ekpe are two versatile players who bring depth and a strong presence to our team,” Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “We are excited to add them to the roster.”
I don’t know about you but I am really excited for Douglas-Roberts. Not only could he prove to be a good replacement for Jared Dudley on the wing, but he can also provide the Clippers with someone who can play and guard multiple positions and score in a variety of ways.
At 6-foot-7, Douglas-Roberts, played in 49 games for the Charlotte Bobcats last season after being signed as an injury replacement for Jeff Taylor in December. Although, he only averaged six points, two rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes per game. He did play well, especially in the second half of the year, as helped the Bobcats to finish out the 2013-14 regular season with a 20-9 record in their last 29 games and a playoff berth.
Now, I know looking at his stats above, you may find it hard to be impressed with him, but trust me when I say that Douglas-Roberts has plenty to offer this Clipper team.
At 27 years old, the first thing that Douglas Roberts offers, is versatility. When it comes to scoring, it may not show in his stats above, but he has a very good mid-range game. When you add that with his excellent ability to score off the dribble, while creating shots for himself or others, you’re talking about a very underrated ball handler, who is very crafty around the basket and someone who can score in variety of ways.
If you think I am exaggerating, just go back and look at his career starting at the high school level. I know while growing up in Detroit, Douglas-Roberts played high school basketball at both, Detroit Cass Technical High School and Detroit Northwestern High School. However, you have to keep in mind that he had plenty success at both schools. During his time at Cass Tech in 2003 and 2004, he averaged 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Even though, he didn’t join the Northwestern basketball team until the second semester in late 2005, due to transfer rules. Douglas-Roberts still finished the season averaging 13 points and five rebounds per game, allowing Rivals.com to not only rank him as the No. 51 player in the nation but also as the country’s No. 15 shooting guard.
Keep in mind that Douglas-Roberts was even more impressive during his three-year college career at University of Memphis. After earning early playing time in his freshman year, as sophomore, he started all 35 games that he played in, as he led the Tigers with 15 points per game. While some though it wasn’t possible, he followed that up with an even better junior year, as he helped the Tigers reach the 2008 NCAA Tournament, averaging 23 points over six games as the Tigers finished in second place, losing in the National Championship game to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime. Allowing him to finish his college career with first-team All-American honors and a total of 1,545 points before leaving Memphis for the NBA.
Now, I know that he hasn’t performed at that same high intense level since entering the NBA. However as I mentioned earlier, Douglas-Roberts is more than capable of being a consistent scorer for a team if you give him the opportunity. I know his stats from last season weren’t impressive but as I mentioned earlier he was key in helping the Bobcats earn a playoff berth last year. In fact, during the Bobcats final two playoff games against the Miami Heat, he averaged 15 points, while shooting 82 percent from the field. Although, he only started in eight games last season with the Bobcats, he did average 10 points and three rebounds, while also connecting on 52 percent of his three-point shots during that time. Then, if that’s not enough, when he did receive extended minutes, Douglas-Roberts did show the ability to score in double figures multiple times last season, despite coming off the bench.
It’s because of those stats above and his versatile skill set that I mentioned earlier, that I say coming into the Clippers, Douglas-Roberts will not only be crafty score around the basket but he will also be a solid shooter from three for the Clippers. I know he’s had his struggles from three in the past but he did connect on over 38 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc during the 2013-14 season which was the best he’s shot the ball from the perimeter during his NBA career.
Even though, he is known for his scoring ability, I do believe that Douglas-Roberts can also provide versatile defense at the wing position for the Clippers. At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, he is already a solid defender who can guard multiple positions and stay in front of his man. Now, that he will be under defensive-minded head coach Doc Rivers and hard nose small forward Matt Barnes, there is no reason to think that Douglas-Roberts won’t become a better defender and rebounder, which will once again only add to his overall skill set that he brings to the Clippers.
Again, I’m not saying that Douglas-Roberts will be the next superstar of the NBA or even the next star of the Clippers. I am simply saying that he can provide good depth and overall versatility play off the bench for the Clippers, which could prove to be key in the Clippers journey to win a championship in the upcoming 2014-15 season.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
Detroit Native Chris Douglas-Roberts Signs With The Los Angeles Clippers was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com