From my column at ESPNLosAngeles.com:
After a stagnant offseason, the Los Angeles Clippers quietly made a few moves to round out their rotation by signing free-agent guard Randy Foye and forward Ryan Gomes to multi-year contracts on Thursday night.
Instead of overpaying in an inflated free-agency market, general manager Neil Olshey picked up two under-the-radar type players to mesh with the team’s young core, while maintaining future financial flexibility. Although the moves are less than splashy, Foye and Gomes will provide the team with versatile skill-sets that can help them win games now while not sacrificing anything for the future.
On the perimeter
With the exception of Baron Davis and Eric Gordon, the Clippers employed no player who had ever hit an NBA 3-pointer. Obviously, addressing that issue was a priority in free agency, so Olshey went out and nabbed two guys capable of hitting outside shots.
Foye, a 26-year-old combo-guard and former lottery pick, is one of the better guys in the league at shooting off the dribble and is a career 36.8 percent 3-point shooter.
Gomes, a 27-year-old small forward, has been almost as good with a 36.1 percent career average from deep. To put things in perspective, Rasual Butler, the Clippers’ single-season record holder for most 3-point field goals, shot just 33.6 percent from beyond the arc last season.
Many of the Clippers’ offensive problems last year stemmed from bad court spacing due to a lack of capable shooters. Defenses were able to pack it in and cut off driving lanes for Eric Gordon and Baron Davis and suffocate Chris Kaman on the block. By adding accomplished shooters like Foye and Gomes to the mix, opposing defenses shouldn’t be able to play off the wings nearly as much. As a result, things should open up for Gordon and Griffin, something necessary for them to further develop their offensive repertoires.
By signing Foye and Gomes, the Clippers added some much needed flexibility to a rigid rotation.
At 6-foot-4 and with a solid build, Foye can play and defend both the point and 2-guard position. The ability for the third guard in a rotation to switch between both spots is usually a luxury, but the injury history of Baron Davis and the inexperience of the lone remaining point guard on the roster in rookie Eric Bledsoe made it a serious need.
Like Foye, Gomes is another classic tweener capable of playing both the small forward and power forward positions. Although he was more of a post-oriented player in his first few years in the league, Gomes has been able to make the transition to a wing player thanks to the expanding range on his jumper. As a solid rebounder with a big frame, Gomes makes up for Eric Gordon’s deficiencies on the glass and still meshes well with Griffin and the Clippers’ other big men who aren’t proficient jump-shooters.
To read the rest of the breakdown on Foye and Gomes, go here.