Shamet provides spark to surging Clippers

By Seth Schlechter
Medill Reports

Prior to the NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Clippers shook the league by shipping leading scorer Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers in a package centered on multiple draft picks and role players.

Despite a career high scoring average, the Clippers decided that Harris, an impending free agent, was not a part of their long term plans and opted to trade him.

The crown jewel in the return from Philadelphia was an unprotected 2021 first round pick via Miami. However the Clippers may have found a diamond in the rough in Landry Shamet.

To many outside the organization, this trade positioned the Clippers to make a splash in upcoming free agency. But the team has seen immediate returns with the addition of shooting guard Landry Shamet.

While his time in Philadelphia was short lived, Shamet learned valuable lessons that will help him throughout his career, specifically from former Clipper and 76er teammate shooting guard JJ Redick.

““A lot of stuff that I incorporated into my game this year was directly just learning and watching him,” Shamet said.

The 26th overall pick in last year’s draft, Shamet has far exceeded expectations. As the NBA season reaches the home stretch, he is the best rookie 3-point specialist, shooting 40.4 percent on five attempts per game.

He could be a force for Los Angeles for years to come given the productive minutes he provides and his team-friendly contract. He is under team control for at least three more seasons. His ability to knock down open jumpers has allowed the rookie to see quality playing time early in his career.

Despite only playing a handful of games as a Clipper, Shamet’s presence is already a force.

In his Clipper debut, Shamet helped spark a 28-point comeback in Boston contributing 17 points off the bench, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.

Despite trading away key players, the Clippers still remain in playoff positioning and Shamet’s immediate contributions have played a factor in the team’s success.

Prior to his first home start at the Staples Center, Coach Doc Rivers spoke glowingly about the rookie, citing his ability to move and create offense on his own.

“He gives me a JJ (Redick), a Ray (Allen),” Rivers said. “There are only 15 guys like that to me in the league and I think Landry is one of them.”

High praise for a player who has only played 61 career games.

No doubt the sharp-shooting Shamet has a bright future in sunny Los Angeles.

Photo at top: Staples Center (Elmar78)