|PER||PER Against (Net)|
|Chris Douglas-Roberts||13.1||10.0 (+3.1)|
Strengths: He burst onto the scene with Charlotte this season much like Josh McRoberts surprise emergence last season. At the point that this team realized it could very realistically be a playoff team, the need for a guy that could come in and give you offensive production immediately next to Kemba and Jefferson was clear. Enter CDR. On December 11th Charlotte signed him for the remainder of the season and waived James Southerland.
CDR’s scoring ability was well documented, but his ability to shoot the 3-ball at a consistent rate was a bit of a pleasant surprise for everyone. Charlotte desperately was searching for floor spacing all season long with their roster, and CDR ended up being one of the most reliable options. In 49 games with the team CDR shot 38.6% from behind-the-arc. It’s not the quickest trigger in the league, and sometimes it appears CDR is thinking twice before he let’s it go, but nonetheless, it’s effective. The shot chart below shows us that CDR was pretty open to shooting from anywhere on the court when attempting three’s. This magnifies his versatility offensively and further explains why CDR developed such an important role for this team. CDR did find his most success from the right corner, where he shot 52.2% on 23 total attempts. No question that this is a floor spacing bi-product of Al Jefferson working from the left block and exactly what Charlotte so desperately needs more of moving forward.
The second shot chart proves that CDR has evolved into an efficient offensive player in this league – very rarely attempting mid-range jumpers or long two’s. The understanding of how and where to score the ball from is one of the most encouraging aspects of his game.
At 6’7, CDR has elite length to play the SG position in the NBA and utilizes this size to score at the rim. He’s also very effective next to Kemba in the open-floor – has ideal speed and athleticism to be a problem for opponents when the tempo picks up.
CDR has proved that he’s a legit NBA rotation player and one that Charlotte will very likely desperately try to re-sign this off-season. The team signed him under the veteran’s minimum last season, but CDR has played his way into a situation where he could be getting a multi-year deal in Charlotte.
Defensively, you’re not going to lose a step with CDR on the floor. He moves well laterally + has the length to guard any SG in the league + most SF’s – again, versatility for his position. He inherited the role of guarding Lebron in late game situations for Charlotte in the playoffs. When Clifford had to go away from MKG and put CDR on the floor late in games for offensive purposes, CDR was forced to guard LB – this example, if nothing else, shows you just how important CDR was to this team as the season wore on.
Weaknesses: Due to the fact that CDR was such a surprise from a production standpoint I think it’s hard to identify a ton of weakness, but they do exist. Yes, it’s his job to come in and get buckets, but there’s no question that CDR could improve his ability to create for teammates – he only averaged 1.0 APG in 20.7 MPG this season. Part of the problem is that CDR isn’t at his best when putting the ball on the floor — only 18.2% of his scoring plays this season came off of unassisted situations, so a focus for CDR this summer should be to create for himself + his teammates off the bounce.
For his size + length, you would expect CDR to be a little bit more effective on the glass. Clifford doesn’t preach suffocating the offensive glass, but he certainly doesn’t sleep well when his teams don’t clean up the defensive glass. This is where you would think CDR could be an above-average rebounder for his position – among qualified SG’s in the league, CDR finished the season with an 11.5 defensive rebounding rate, good for 18th among SG’s. It isn’t terrible, but again, with his length it’s something that could certainly improve.
Continuing to improve the long-range shot must remain high on the priority list for CDR. The efficiency jump was made this season and has formed him into officially being a versatile offensive player, but a drop in production could very well send CDR back to the D-League. Also, working on his release when shooting is vital – it works, and his length helps CDR get his shot off even with a defender in his face, but a quicker trigger certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Reasons for Optimism: Pretty simple. CDR continues the production that he gave this season and becomes a vital role player for the roster over the next 2-3 seasons. At 27, CDR is seemingly entering his prime and with his positive jump in offensive production last season, Charlotte would be smart to go ahead and lock him up over the next few seasons.
Was last season just the beginning of CDR’s development into an versatile offensive player? Remains to be seen, but if so then Charlotte really found a diamond in the rough. If CDR can continue to shoot the ball from deep at the rate he is now, and improve his ability to score + distribute the ball off the bounce, then he’s basically a fringe starting SG.
A two-year deal worth $2.5-3 million annually would make a lot of sense for both sides.
Reasons for Pessimism: He was fooling us all with the shooting performance this season and regresses back to a player that cannot stretch the floor with the three-point shot. Let’s hope not, but it’s still too early to dismiss this point of pessimism regarding his game.
Aside from that, CDR could very possibly garner more interest from teams around the league than Charlotte expects. Let’s put it this way – the team will wait patiently while the market for both Josh McRoberts + CDR depicts what their value is. It’s asking a lot to believe that the price for both of these guys will be affordable according to Michael Jordan’s checkbook. Especially if Charlotte hopes to go and sign another big time free-agent this summer.