The franchise was founded in 1970, then known as the Buffalo Braves. In 1978, they relocated and rebranded and became the San Diego Clippers. In 1984 they relocated again, to become the Los Angeles Clippers, which they have remained up to the present day. Throughout their history, the Clippers have had incredible talent, but haven’t been able to put it all together to win a championship.
Los Angeles Clippers All-Time Team
Point Guard – Chris Paul
The Clippers have not had many talented point guards over the years so Chris Paul is a stand out selection at the one spot. He led the team through the Lob City era and helped drag the franchise out of the mud.
Despite not leaving on great terms, he is still widely regarded as the best point guard they’ve ever had. He averaged close to 10 assists every season he was there as well as leading the league in steals for three of the six seasons in Los Angeles.
Injuries ended the Lob City Clippers but had injuries not occurred, Paul and the Clippers would have been real title contenders.
Shooting Guard – Randy Smith
Randy Smith did play a vital role in being the second star behind McAdoo. Throughout his time with the Braves, he averaged 18.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.
Smith still holds the records within the franchise for most minutes played and most field goals attempted. This makes him one of the team’s all-time great players who has left an excellent legacy there.
Small Forward – Corey Maggette
Corey Maggette did not play for the Clippers during their most successful years. However, while he was there, he was very impactful. Maggette was a dynamic scorer throughout his tenure with Clippers, from 2000-08. Getting to the rim and drawing fouls was what he was best known for. He had a good free throw percentage of 82.4 percent while in Los Angeles. This made him very dangerous for opposing teams as he would average shooting over seven free throw attempts per game.
Power Forward – Elton Brand
Elton Brand was a fan favorite and face of the franchise from 2001-08. He was known for his offensive rebounding and excellent leadership skills as a hard-nosed big man. He was willing to put his body on the line every night in order to help his team win. That’s why the fans loved him so much.
He still holds the franchise record for total offensive rebounds and total rebounds. He has 68.3 win shares for the team which is incredible because the team was not that successful during the time he was there. Their most success came in the 2005-06 season when Brand was an MVP candidate and led his team to conference semi-finals.
Center – Bob McAdoo
Despite Elton Brand’s illustrious career in Los Angeles, Bob McAdoo is looked at as the best player in franchise history. He played for the Buffalo Braves from 1972-1976 and was an all-star every year except his rookie season. McAdoo also won the Most Valuable Player award in 1975, as well as Rookie of the Year in 1972. He was the league’s leading scorer for three consecutive seasons, from 1973-74 through the 1975-76 season. He made the All-NBA team twice, in the 1973-74 season and in the following year.
On the court he was a versatile big man who could shoot, rebound and make baskets in transition. In his 1974-75 MVP season, he averaged 34.4 points per game and 14.1 rebounds per game. A Los Angeles Clippers all-time team would be incomplete without McAdoo leading the frontcourt.
Point Guard – World B. Free
World B. Free played for the San Diego Clippers for just two seasons, 1978-79 and 1979-80. Despite not staying long, his impact was huge. He averaged 29.4 points per game throughout his stay, making it a very memorable one indeed. They finished one place outside the playoffs during his two seasons there but that was due to a poor supporting cast.
During just two seasons, World B. Free managed to rack up 18.1 win shares. He also had a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 22.4, with an extremely high usage rate of 31.2 percent. Those statistics alone solidify him as one of the most impactful guards in franchise history.
Shooting Guard – Ron Harper
Ron Harper is less-known for playing for the LA Clippers than his other teams on which he won championships. However, he was a star for the Clippers, dropping 19.4 points per game from 1989-94 while he was there. Throughout his five and a half seasons with the Clippers, he was the star. On the championship-winning Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams he was a role player, averaging significantly lower scoring numbers. It’s safe to say that his best years as a player were with the Clippers.
Small Forward – Bob Kauffman
Bob Kauffman was there at the very beginning of the franchise. He played on the Buffalo Braves in their very first season in 1970-71 until he left in the summer of 1974. He averaged 19.0 points and 10.7 rebounds on the team which included Bob McAdoo and Randy Smith in his three all-star seasons from 1970-73.
In the 1972-72 season, Kauffman, along with Smith and McAdoo, helped the team make its first-ever playoff appearance. This young team was one of the most exciting to watch during the 1970s.
Power Forward – Blake Griffin
Griffin is a controversial player to have on the all-time Los Angeles Clippers team because of the hope that he brought to the franchise when being selected number one overall in the 2009 draft. This hope was followed by a lot of disappointment, as the LA Clippers of the era with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan never even made it to a conference finals. This was mostly due to injuries to either Griffin or Paul.
In the summer of 2017, Blake Griffin signed a max deal with the Clippers, worth $173 million over five years. This was just after the departure of Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. It appeared as though the Clippers were doubling down on Griffin to be the leader of their team moving forward. However, just halfway through the season, the Clippers traded Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, which would signal the start of a rebuilding era for the Clippers. This trade returned many pieces, including Tobias Harris, that would subsequently be traded by the Clippers. These would be turned into more assets which would then be pivotal in the acquisition of Paul George in the summer of 2019. This would have been a key factor in convincing Kawhi Leonard to sign with the team, to create a potential title favorite for the 2019-20 season.
Center – DeAndre Jordan
The third man in the ‘Lob City’ era of the LA Clippers was DeAndre Jordan. Athleticism and defense are what makes Jordan a great center. The Clippers drafted Jordan one year before Blake Griffin, and both players left around the same time too.
On the Clippers, his only job was to block shots, get rebounds, and dunk the ball. He was insanely efficient at it. From 2012-17 he led the league in field goal percentage, averaging 69.0 percent on 6.5 attempts per game. He also led the league in rebounding for the two seasons between 2013 and 2015.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is that Jordan has the second most win shares of anyone in franchise history with 76.3, behind only his teammate, Chris Paul. This is largely due to the longevity of DeAndre Jordan and his durability compared to his teammates, whilst also playing in an era of great success (during the regular season).
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