In relatively inconsequential news, the Clippers inked point guard Brevin Knight to a two year/$4M contract, according to Jason Reid in the Los Angeles Times

An indisputable professional who has been heralded as a prince everywhere he’s ever played,  Knight will bring a measure of adequacy to the Clippers’ point guard situation.  He can distribute the basketball – and has some sick assist rates to prove it.  In 45 games last season, Knight posted an assist ratio of 36.5, good for 6th in the Association, and that number represents a measurable falloff from years past.  His turnover ratio is okay, but that’s probably more a function of his short stature [he’s 5’ 10” with kicks] than sloppiness. 

Knight’s shortcomings – and this is a particular sticky point with the Clippers – come in his inability to hit the outside shot, though he’s reasonably proficient from about 15-17.  In four years at Stanford culminating with the 1942 NCAA Championship under Howie Dallmar, Knight hit only 93 3PM in 3,703 minutes.  And let’s just say he hasn’t exactly expanded his range in the pros.  On a post team whose big men [to the extent there are any left] need room to maneuver below the stripe, not allowing the defense to sag and clog the passing lanes is imperative.  Since Mobley demands no double-team and the Clips don’t move a whole lot, look for Chris Kaman to play farther off the block and to experience some of the problems he had last season.  If you’ve got an assassin on the wing who can hit from the new Ralph’s on 9th, then you can make do with a non-shooter at the point.  But so long as the Clippers stockpile players who can’t shoot from any appreciable distance, they’re going to have trouble scoring, all the more so with Elton on the shelf.

Knight will help the Clippers with their only viable strategy next season: Racking up ugly wins with some expert defensive efficiency.  I haven’t seen Knight play much since he landed in Charlotte, but early in his career with Cleveland, he was a superb on-ball defender in the Mookie Blaylock mold.  In his scouting report, John Hollinger maintains that Knight has “the fastest hands in basketball,” and this pressure on the ball will shorten Clipper opponents’ possessions. The sad truth is when you consider the terrifying alternative of Troy Hudson, the worst defensive professional basketball player in recent memory, Knight is the best remaining solution at the point for the Clippers.

As presently constituted, the Los Angeles Clippers are a 25-30 win team.