NBA Rumors: Joel Przybilla Would Be Perfect Fit on Rising Clippers' Bench

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2012

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 04:  Joel Przybilla #10 of the Portland Trail Blazers during play against the Dallas Mavericks on February 4, 2009 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the free-agent market pretty much dried up to this point, 7'1" center Joel Przybilla has become a pretty hot commodity with several teams reportedly vying for his services. No team would be a better fit, though, than the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers are pursuing Przybilla as they still have two open roster spots. Przybilla was limited to just 38 games last season with the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats, but he is apparently completely healed.

After trading Chris Kaman to the New Orleans Hornets in the deal that brought point guard Chris Paul to Los Angeles, the Clippers are a bit short on centers. Aside from starter DeAndre Jordan, the only center on the roster is journeyman Solomon Jones. The Clippers also recently signed Reggie Evans, but he is better suited as a power forward.

Przybilla isn't going to set the world on fire as he averaged just two points and four rebounds per game in limited action last season. He is a big-bodied guy with experience, though, and there is always room for that type of player—especially on a team with some younger players like the Clippers.

In his peak seasons with the Blazers, Przybilla was averaging five-to-six points per game along with seven-to-eight rebounds. I wouldn't expect that type of production, but if he can give the Clippers about 15 minutes per game in relief of Jordan, he will be well worth whatever Los Angeles pays him.

Przybilla clearly won't be able to replace what Kaman brought to the team, particularly on the offensive end, but he is a very capable defender who can frustrate opponents in short spurts. He averages roughly 1.5 blocks per game over the course of his career, making him a nice sub for the block-happy Jordan.

As currently constructed, the Clippers already have an elite starting lineup with Jordan, Paul, Blake Griffin, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. While their bench is solid, I wouldn't exactly call it great. Much of that stems from what it cost to bring in free agents this season.

Last season, the Miami Heat proved that a great starting lineup isn't the only thing that matters as their lack of depth ended up hurting them.

Bringing in a guy like Przybilla may not seem like a big deal, but come playoff time when Jordan is in foul trouble, Przybilla would really come in handy as he can acquit himself well when needed.