HoopsHype is reporting that the Clippers have inked Josh Powell to a three-year deal in the minimum salary range – something similar to what Quinton Ross got in 2004.  

In locking up Josh Powell to a low-dollar/three-year deal, the Clippers get an active PF – the lighter Pacific Division edition --  with some upside. As discussed in the preceding post, Powell has a proverbial “nose for the ball,” and a consistent mid-range game. While he isn’t an expert post defender, he’s plenty tough and has the fundamentals to learn what he doesn't know.  Away from the basket defensively, he’s quick, long, and athletic enough to provide weak side help and rotate out.  Powell’s reputation in Oakland seemed to be of the James Singleton variety – a guy whose potential might have been undercut by his lack of playing time. In their season-end report cards, most of Golden State of Mind’s brain trust likes his “hustle” and “work ethic.” 

Some might raise an eyebrow at giving an NBA suspect a three-year deal, but I think there’s little downside.  Whether Elton returns for two months, two seasons, or a lifetime, the Clippers will need someone to back him up.  Have you seen what passes for a backup power forward  in the NBA these days? If Antonio McDyess isn’t on the roster, then you’re basically choosing between a banger who can’t score [Reggie Evans], cultivating a less-than-sure-thing prospect [Craig Smith], or making do with an overpaid oldster [P.J. Brown/Kenny Thomas].  Unless my team is a championship contender, I always prefer the energetic prospect.  

It’s unlikely that Powell will initially see more than 10-15 minutes/game, but with a gaping hole at the power forward and only a vague sense of what kind of offense they’ll be running this year, the Clippers will give Powell opportunity to play himself into some serious minutes.  Since they’re giving him three years, the Clips have every reason to want Powell to grow into a successful NBA player.