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CLIPPERS REPORT

Clippers could bulk up by signing Reggie Evans

Team has a need for a tough backup and is nearing a deal with the 6-8 veteran.

December 21, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Reggie Evans, left, hugs Philadelphia 76ers teammate Andre Iguodala after he made a game-winning shot against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 playoffs. The Clippers are close to signing Evans.
Reggie Evans, left, hugs Philadelphia 76ers teammate Andre Iguodala after… (Gary W. Green / Orlando Sentinel )

The Clippers' need for a backup frontcourt player may soon be filled when Reggie Evans arrives.

Evans and the Clippers are closing in on a one-year deal worth about $1.3 million.

Evans, who has to take and pass his physical, was expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday night and to take the exam Thursday.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Clippers

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said before his team played the Lakers in an exhibition game at Staples Center on Wednesday night — in the Clippers' designated home game in the arena both teams share — that they are in need of more bulk and more-physical players in a backup role.

"We're looking at different guys that we feel can help us. Reggie Evans is one of them," Del Negro said.

"He's not 6-10, but he is a rebounder. He's a tough kid. He can guard some fours [power forwards], some fives [centers]. He can give us that extra edge defensively, get us some rebounds and get us out in the open court."

If the 6-foot-8 Evans does pass his physical, the Clippers aren't sure he'll be able to play during their season opener Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors.

Evans, 31, has played for four teams during nine seasons in the NBA, mostly as a power forward and center.

Last season, Evans averaged 4.4 points and 11.5 rebounds with the Toronto Raptors.

Cook looking for a role

For now, Brian Cook is the Clippers' first big man off the bench.

Cook worked hard all summer to be in a position to get some playing time.

He won't be a physical presence, but at 6-9, Cook can knock down outside shots.

"My role is to spread the floor for this team, play defense and be a veteran presence," said Cook, who finished with three points and four rebounds Wednesday night.

New look for home game

When the starting lineups were introduced, Chauncey Billups was the third player announced, followed by Chris Paul and then Blake Griffin — apparently the Big Three for the Clippers.

It was obvious that the crowd couldn't wait to see Paul throw a lob pass to Griffin for a dunk.

It got its wish in the third quarter, when Paul threw an underhanded lob that Griffin finished for a dunk with ease.

But that was just part of Griffin's show.

There were the spin moves, post-ups, a fancy dribble for a basket — all a part of his 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, seven assists and six rebounds.

And there was Griffin's taking a charge by Matt Barnes with 16.2 seconds left, and the Clippers clinging to a three-point lead, to preserve the win.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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