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CLIPPERS FYI

Clippers are expected to add Solomon Jones to bolster frontcourt

Team's need for more backup for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan is expected to lead to signing of 6-foot-10 power forward-center.

January 02, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Solomon Jones tries to block a shot by LeBron James when the two played for the Hawks and Cavaliers, respectively.
Solomon Jones tries to block a shot by LeBron James when the two played for… (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images )

In need of help in the frontcourt, the Clippers are expected to sign free-agent Solomon Jones to a non-guaranteed contract Tuesday worth almost $1 million, said a person not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Jones worked out for the Clippers on Monday at the team's practice facility and was chosen over several other frontcourt players who also worked out for the team.

While Reggie Evans continues to rehabilitate the sprained right foot that may leave him unable to play for at least another week, the Clippers need more backup for starters Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

The Clippers have been using Brian Cook and rookie Trey Thompkins as the primary reserves.

Jones, a 6-foot-10 power forward-center, spent last season with the Indiana Pacers, for whom he played in 39 games and averaged 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13.5 minutes.

Jones has spent four-plus seasons in the NBA and his career averages are 3.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.9 minutes.

Jones worked out with DJ Mbenga, Dan Gadzuric, Leon Powe and Dwayne Jones.

The Clippers had two roster spots still open because they had 13 players, two short of the NBA maximum of 15.

The Clippers also still have interest in Antonio McDyess, even though he retired in December after 16 years in the NBA.

Clippers making progress

Slowly, deliberately, the Clippers are making progress.

They made some strides on defense in a victory over the Trail Blazers on Sunday night, holding Portland to less than 100 points after giving up at least 100 in the previous two games.

The Clippers have to improve their rebounding, but the feeling at practice Monday was that they are doing the right things.

"We've got a lot of new pieces to this team," said Chauncey Billups, who missed his second straight game with a sore right hamstring. "People forget that. This is overall a pretty young team, except for myself [35] and Caron [Butler, 31]. This is a young basketball team, a very inexperienced basketball team. So it's ever evolving. We're getting better. That's all you can kind of ask for."

Billups said there are things that he is pleased and concerned about with the Clippers.

"Well, the thing that pleases me the most is that everybody is willing to put the work in to get better," Billups said. "A lot of people want to be good, want to be on that good team but don't want to go through the necessary challenge to get there. This team wants to do that.

"And the thing that concerns me is that we haven't been blessed with a lot of time. And expectations are greater now. So we don't have time to waste. We've got to take advantage of it the best we can."

Etc.

Billups said his leg feels better and that he hopes to play Wednesday when the Clippers host the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

"Hopefully I won't have any setbacks," Billups said. "I'm shooting for Wednesday. We'll have a good practice [Tuesday] and hopefully I make out of that all right with no tweaks and I'll be good to go."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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