Next up in our roundtable review of the Clippers’ 2022 offseason is their signing of reserve wing Amir Coffey. Also of note – some new names in the roundtable!
Erik Olsgaard: A-
If you can’t tell, I’m really high on the Clippers’ off-season moves. Coffey had a breakout season that had me convinced he’d end up out of our price range. But the Clippers were able to retain Amir for a very reasonable $11M/3yrs, and without a doubt I feel he is the most talented 12th man in the NBA (it sounds weird, but this roster is crazy). Of course, the Clippers don’t relegate him to the end of the bench. Our Brewmaster is a large, athletic guard with ball-handling skills that makes good decisions and can defend multiple positions. He’s not a great (Editor’s Note: or even good) rebounder, but he’s unselfish and always seems ready to contribute. He’ll go from cleaning up garbage minutes to starting due to player absences, and he’ll consistently produce time and again. You can’t teach that. Players like Amir allow championship contenders to survive the long grind of the NBA season with enough left in the tank to make a real run. So in my mind, that makes him far more valuable than his current contract. That, and his 45-38-86 shooting splits. Great, great signing for Amir Coffey.
Adam Auslund: A+ Gourmet
Amir Coffey this past season was “some serious gourmet s**t” as Jules Winnfield proclaimed after that sip of Jimmie’s non-freeze dried coffee in Pulp Fiction. He was at worst the Clippers’ most consistent player in January, and likely their most critical contributor while averaging 14/4/3 on splits of 50/42/90 over the Clippers 17 games to start the new year, including 29 in their historic 35 point comeback in DC. Overall, it was his most impactful season as a Clipper. When we discuss who’s the odd man out in rotations this year for a potential healthy group, we often bring up Luke Kennard, but Amir and his new well earned and team friendly contract will also have to wait his turn. However, when coach Lue does look his way he’s proven to be a valuable member of the “stay ready Clippers”.
Chuck Mockler: A+
Did anyone else double-check the final contract numbers for the Amir Coffey signing when they were released, or was it just me? 3/$11M is an incredible value for a player that fits the exact image of what the Clippers have been building over the last few years (guys who are able to defend multiple positions, have length for their position, and shoot well from outside) and who brings help in needed areas like transition scoring. I’m not sure there are any faults with this contract, it was another elite “margin move” by this Clippers front office. May the coffee puns never stop.
Shapan Debnath: A
I don’t usually give As on here, but this is just flat out an A. There was mild concern Amir might get a 10 million dollar offer for one year, and we got him on a 3 year, 11 million dollar deal? Absolutely incredible, and the biggest bargain of all the Clippers’ deals, for a guy who is maybe the biggest example of having too much guys. Amir was the best Clipper for stretches last season, a surefire regular season rotation guy at minimum, who’s currently squeezed out of a healthy rotation on this team. From his underrated ability to touch the paint and make the smart play, his willingness to take on a challenging defensive assignment, and his much needed pace on a team mostly devoid of it, this is a guy I really hope the team finds minutes for, because he’s worth every penny of his deal.
Robert Flom: A+
This might be the best value signing of the entire summer, not just for the Clippers, but in the entire NBA. Amir Coffey is a 6’7 guard/wing who played competently (at least) on both ends of the court last year, is a 38% shooter from deep (albeit on a still small-ish sample size), plays hard, and hasn’t had any serious injuries. Add in the fact that he’s just 25 years old – and having played limited minutes in his first two seasons, could still well be developing – as a cherry on top. I thought Amir was worth at least $8M for what he provided last year, and considering age and position, I wouldn’t have considered 3/30 an overpay. Getting him at 3/11 is a massive coup, and also a testament to Steve Ballmer’s willingness to spend (two people plugged in with different teams said the teams were unwilling to offer Coffey much in restricted free agency since they figured Ballmer would match regardless). What a deal, even for a guy who will be the 12th man.
Lucas Hann: A++++++++
How many plusses are we allowed? Maybe, maybe, the Clippers deserve a little less credit for their genius here than the value on this contract indicates, since his restricted free agent status likely scared off other suitors and left them negotiating against nobody. On the other hand, maybe this is the biggest actualization of Ballmer Bucks this off-season, if other teams would have offered the Clippers’ 12th man a contract and tested their luxury tax spending limits, but knew the Clippers would gladly write a bigger check to keep a talented 25-year-old around. Either way, this contract is ridiculous. Let’s just look at some comps on other deals given out this summer: Jae’sean Tate, who is actually older than Amir, got 3/22.1M. Caleb Martin, also a year older, got 3/20.5M. Danuel House, who is 29 and bounced around on 10-days last year, got 2/8.5. We can quibble about where Amir belongs in that hierarchy–it’s probably fair to say that most teams would prefer Tate or Martin, though the production each offers is similar–but him getting a slightly lower AAV than House and half the money of the others is actually insane.
I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around him going back to a DNP role after how good he was last season. You know it’s a great deal for the front office when, as a fan, you actually feel a little uncomfortable with how ripped off a young guy is getting. Obviously $11M is a lot of money, but damn, for a guy who hasn’t even spent a full season on an NBA salary yet (he was a two-way guy the last three years), every million counts in a way that might not be true for someone like Nic Batum–and based on the market, Amir came up about $10M short on this deal. If other teams thought he wasn’t worth the money (and weren’t just scared off by Ballmer Bucks), they’re stupid and should watch more film. For now, we can all be relieved that Amir is still a Clipper, even if it’s unclear what his role will be in a super stacked wing corps going forward.
Cole Huff: A
For Amir’s sake, this kind of sucks, to be honest. He had a tremendous NBA season (by his standards) and as a result, comes back for cheap to likely be an end-of-rotation guy on arguably the deepest team in the league. I thought that he could very easily make TPMLE money and even inch closer to the Non-Taxpayer amount. Anyways, the Amir Coffey signing is a homerun for the Clippers — they get a young(ish), proven, versatile piece back on an incredible deal.