Our staff roundtable grades continue with a look at Robert Covington, a dynamic acquisition for the Clippers at the 2022 trade deadline.

Ralston Dacanay: A

Like most, I was high on the Norman Powell trade when it happened, but set the expectations pretty low for Robert Covington in particular. A 31-year-old vet who was being brought onto his sixth NBA team after an uninspiring 48-game stint with Portland at that point in the season, RoCo had long been a great role player in my eyes, but it just seemed to be that time in his career when his production could really start to fall off. Twenty-three games in a Clipper uniform and a two-year, $24 million extension signed later, it’s clear that this reinvigorated version of Covington still has plenty left in the tank. With averages of 10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 spg and 2.1 3pm on 50/85/45 splits in just 22.1 minutes per game, Covington had Clipper fans and writers alike begging Tyronn Lue to give him more time. His play these past couple of months really could perhaps be the catalyst that opens up the door for LAC to make some big moves this summer, having shed light on the sheer amount of wing depth Lawrence Frank and co. have to work with. Even if the Clippers decide to mostly run it back, however, Covington and his lightning-fast hands should especially flourish with the attention that Powell, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard attract.

Erik Olsgaard: A

Sort of the opposite of Terance, I had pretty low expectations of RoCo when the Clippers traded for him. To me, he was supposed to be a solid 4 with a decent, but not great shot, and the ability to shift to the small ball 5. But this was based entirely off of watching him in Houston and Portland. And what I didn’t realize was that he hadn’t been truly unlocked at his previous stops. What we got was a defensive menace, capable of legitimately guarding 1 through 5 making him impervious to switches, who roams the passing lanes with some of the best hands since Andre Iguodala. And shooting 45% from deep on top of that? Completely blew my mind. I couldn’t be happier with Covington’s performance last year, and I am absolutely ecstatic that he’s decided to re-sign with the team before free agency even begins.

Shapan Debnath: A

Maybe my only A so far? RoCo exceeded all my expectations, shot a blistering SEVENTY percent from the corners, and was a help defense wizard that harkened me back to some Kawhi led small ball. Robert Covington quickly became a fixture in the Clippers rotation and I am so glad he’s locked up for the next couple seasons. RoCo feels like a necessary piece in Ty Lue’s natural small ball inclination, particularly with how poor of rebounders guys like Nico or Morris are. He had so many highlights this season, the Milwaukee explosion coming to the top of the list, but I’m just very excited to see him play alongside Kawhi and George. And particularly those two as well as Terance and Nico.

Cole Huff: A-

I had optimism that Covington would enter a more ideal situation with the Clippers and begin to more closely resemble the player that he became in Philadelphia. But what I didn’t expect was that the Clippers would get a 45.0 percent 3-point shooter and immediate game changer off the bench. His importance showed in the film and in the stats. RoCo’s per 36 numbers were the best of his career and it’s truly a shame that the logjam at forward kept his average minutes to just 22.1. He frequently sat almost all of first and third quarters as Ty Lue opted for Morris or other options, which made games more dramatic than they needed to be. He wasn’t perfect by any means but almost always had positive impact on the floor and far exceeded any expectations. I’m looking forward to him getting more minutes next season and it’ll be fun to watch his off-ball defense and quick hands alongside Leonard and George. He even had a podcast here named after him (The Bob Cov Pod). For that, he gets an A-. 

Robert Flom: A

What’s there to say about Robert Covington that hasn’t already been said? Initially an afterthought in the Norm Powell deal, RoCo was so good that he will probably make the trade worth it all on his own, Norm aside. He’s still an excellent help defender, passable at point of attack against most wings and guards, a good rebounder, a solid three point shooter on high volume, and someone who will keep the ball moving with good energy. In short, he’s a perfect role player alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and echoing the sentiments above, I can’t wait to see Robert Covington next to the Clippers’ superstars over the next couple of seasons.

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