Starter: Tobias Harris
Depth: Luc Mbah A Moute, Danilo Gallinari, Wesley Johnson
As with just about every NBA roster at this point, the Clippers are drawing from the same pool of players to fill both small forward and power forward minutes. The starter at small forward will presumably be Tobias Harris, who may also be the best player on this team.
Entering into his eighth season, Harris has developed into an impressive scorer. He averaged 20.1 points per 36 minutes over the course of the last season, which involved picking up and moving from Detroit in the middle of it. On top of that, Harris is a canny passer out of drives, and he shot over 40 percent from deep last season. Harris still has room to improve as a defender — his teams in recent years have typically performed better defensively with him off the court. Still, he’s a gifted player in his prime, and this season could very well be his coming out party.
When Harris sits or is pushed to power forward, you’ll see a rotation of Danilo Gallinari, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Wesley Johnson at the small forward position. Gallinari will most likely play the vast majority of his minutes at power forward, but it’s possible Doc Rivers could look at jumbo lineups with Montrezl Harrell at power forward and Marcin Gortat at center.
Mbah a Moute will be familiar to Clippers fans, having spent two seasons at Staples Centers before a season-long tour in Houston last year. The 32-year-old swingman will provide shooting from the corners, stout defense and little else.
Wesley Johnson will provide that sage wisdom that only the longest-tenured Clipper can provide. However, that will most likely be the long and short of his contributions this season, other than maybe some perimeter defense for maybe 10 minutes a game.