Our exit interview series on the 2024 Clippers continues with reserve wing Amir Coffey.

Basic Information

Height: 6’7

Weight: 210 pounds

Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Age: 26 (27 in two weeks)

Years in NBA: 5

Key Regular Season Stats: 6.6 points, 1.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 0.6 steals, and 0.5 turnovers in 20.9 minutes per game across 70 games played (13 starts) on 47.2/38/85.9 (2.6 3PA and 1.0 FTA) shooting splits (60.4 True Shooting)

Postseason Stats: 2.8 points, 0.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.8 turnovers in 18.7 minutes per game across 6 games played (3 starts) on 31.8/27.3 (1.8 3PA and 0 FTA attempts) shooting splits (38.6 True Shooting)

Expectations

At the start of the season, Amir Coffey was not in the Clippers’ top 10, which was projected as Russ-PG-Kawhi-RoCo-Zu, and then Bones-Norm-Terance-Nico-Plumlee. As he had in prior seasons, Amir was expected to serve as the utility, fill-in, 11th man who would step into the rotation whenever any perimeter player was to miss time. Amir’s steadiness and competence at most basic NBA perimeter skills – shooting, handling, man defense, and moving the ball – made him a natural for that role to fill any gap.

Reality

The James Harden trade changed everything. With all of the Clippers’ veteran forwards outside of Kawhi Leonard gone, spots opened up in the rotation. Early, those reserve forward minutes went to PJ Tucker. He was unplayable, so then they went to Kobe Brown. While Brown was improving, he was still an unsteady rookie, and Ty Lue turned to Amir. While taking Russ out of the starting unit and getting Harden acclimated were the biggest reasons the Clippers surged in mid-December, Amir’s contributions were part of that as well.

There’s not really a whole lot to say about Amir’s regular season after that. He came off the bench as the nominal forward, getting occasional starts when one of the Clippers’ perimeter starters were out. He played solid defense, made his open threes, attacked in transition, and otherwise did not contribute much. And, for an 8th man, that was totally fine.

The playoffs, unfortunately, did not go so great. Amir was given the job of guarding Kyrie Irving, an extremely difficult challenge. He actually did a pretty good job the first few games, but his defense wore down over the course of the series, and he was fairly ineffectual by the end. The other end, however, is where Amir looked overmatched as a starter. The Mavs were not particularly concerned about Amir shooting, and were able to stop him from getting to the rim on drives. Amir just could not get going, and his efficiency numbers might honestly be more positive than his actual contributions on offense. It was a sign that Amir, as nice a player as he is, is much more of a fine reserve than a guy who should be asked to start in the postseason.

Future with Clippers

Amir is entering the final year of his steal of a 3 year, $11M deal. He is one of the few Clippers with positive trade value on his contract, but his deal is so small it can’t really be the main contract going out in a trade – he’d have to be a sweetener of some kind. I could see Amir being moved as part of a PJ Tucker or Norm deal, but he has more value to the Clippers than most other teams. He’s not an important enough player to be a “must keep”, but he’s a solid player who fits in well on this roster and the Clippers have invested a lot of time in Amir. My guess is he’s on the team at least one more season.

Subscribe
Notify of
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x