Clippers’ Ryan Gomes doesn’t mind backing up Caron Butler
With the Clippers these days, the roles are forever changing.
For Ryan Gomes, his role has changed from last season, something he knew would happen when the Clippers told him they were looking to upgrade at his small forward position.
He was the starter last season, but now he is a reserve behind Caron Butler, whom the Clippers signed in free agency to a three-year, $24-million contract.
“My thoughts were that we got a guy who played in the playoffs a lot,” Gomes said about Butler after practice Thursday. “He brings some veteran leadership to this team. When he was playing with Dallas last year, they won a lot of games when he was in that starting lineup.”
Gomes started 62 games last season for the Clippers and played in 76. He averaged 7.2 points on 41% shooting, 34.1% from three-point range.
The Clippers wanted more production out of that spot.
“I knew my role would change a little bit and I’d be backing up,” Gomes said. “I think this year, knowing that I’m coming off the bench, I can be more aggressive offensively because I’m with the second unit more than with the first unit. That’s what I took when he signed here. That’s how I viewed my opportunity and what my role would be.”
Gomes isn’t complaining about his new role. He just wants to do his part to help the Clippers win.
“Defensively, my job is to put a lot of pressure on the small forwards in this league,” Gomes said. “I also have to make open shots.”
Clippers sign Evans
The Clippers made if official Thursday afternoon, announcing that they had signed Reggie Evans to a one-year contract after he passed his physical.
Evans will earn the veteran’s minimum of about $1.3 million. The 6-foot-8 Evans provides the Clippers with a tough presence in the frontcourt even though he’s an undersized backup center/forward.
Evans, 31, averaged a career-high 11.5 rebounds per game last season with the Toronto Raptors. Over his nine-year NBA career, Evans has averaged 4.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 19.5 minutes.
“If you look at his rebound numbers, he goes and gets the ball,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He’s a possession guy. Reggie always has rebounded the ball well. We’ve just got to make sure he’s healthy and can contribute.”
The Clippers don’t expect Evans to play Sunday against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland because of a foot injury that could keep him out for two weeks.
The Clippers also announced Thursday that they had waived Courtney Fortson and Marcus Hubbard. The team has 13 players on its roster.
Chris Paul made an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on Thursday night. … Del Negro gave his team the day off Friday.
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