Within minutes of officially clearing waivers, veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni has agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Shams Charania of RealGM first reported the agreement, which is for the veteran's minimum. Prigioni, 38, was waived Monday immediately after being sent to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Ty Lawson trade. The Nuggets will still owe Prigioni $440,000 next season.
The veteran guard split last season with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. He averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 assists per game, working as a reserve in both cities. His abbreviated stint in Houston saw him almost completely lose confidence in his shot, as he hit only 34.3 percent of his shots during the regular season and a third of them during the playoffs.
Expectations in Los Angeles will understandably be low with Chris Paul and Austin Rivers already on the roster.
Prigioni's overarching role may be to spell Rivers in those moments when his decision-making goes out of control. For all his struggles with his shot, Prigioni remains a highly intelligent veteran who consistently makes good passes. Rivers, the ostensive backup point guard, tends to get bogged down in his own world at times—to the detriment of the Clippers' whirring offense.
Former NBA executive Bobby Marks chimed in with a similar thought:
Even if Prigioni's not much of a contributor, this move continues a banner couple of weeks for Doc Rivers' general manager cred. The DeAndre Jordan fiasco may have broken some unwritten NBA rules, but the Clippers now look like a legitimate title contender.
They've added Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson on cheap contracts, all of whom give them legit NBA players at spots they were using below replacement-level guys last season.
“I see the light at the end of the tunnel," fellow veteran signee Paul Pierce said, per Sports Illustrated. "I wanted another opportunity to win a championship. I thought just being here would be a great fit. I’m a veteran. I could be another voice in the locker room and I can just pretty much fill any role that they need me to play.”
It's likely Prigioni's decision-making process came down to a similar thought. The Clippers have two of the league's top 10 players, an All-NBA center and, for the first time, a legit bench to give them a breather. Not bad for a team that looked to be in dire straits at the beginning of the month.
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