October 2, 1984
WALTON SIGNS WITH CLIPPERS
Veteran center Bill Walton and first-round draft choice Lancaster Gordon of Louisville have signed contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers. Terms were not announced. The signings follow the acquisition of All-Star forward Marques Johnson in a six-player deal in which the Clippers sent Terry Cummings to the Bucks.
Walton, 32, played in 55 games for the team in San Diego last year, averaging 12.1 points and nine rebounds. He has been plagued by a foot injury in the last stages of his 10-year NBA career and missed two seasons with the Clippers. Gordon, a 6-3 guard from Louisville, was the eighth player selected in the draft.
Walton has career averages of nearly 16 points and 12 rebounds per game.
If they don't improve this year, it will be because of injury or lack of direction. They will start Marques Johnson, James Donaldson, and Bill Walton on the front line, with Norm Nixon and Derek Smith in the backcourt. The bench features Junior Bridgeman, Harvey Catchings and rookies Michael Cage and Lancaster Gordon. It seems to be a good blend of youth and experience, and the Clippers certainly should be a playoff team
The first priority was to re-sign Walton, who missed 27 games last season because of a broken finger and who became a free agent after his five-year, $4 million contract expired. "He was the cornerstone of the franchise," Scheer said. "And we knew people would be looking to that as a sign as to whether or not we were serious."
Walton agreed to sign the contract only after the Clippers proved that they were also serious about becoming a viable franchise. "I play better when I have good teammates," Walton says. "I'm not the type of player who can go one-on-one and score points and get rebounds by himself regardless of what's going on in the game. I need support."
--Part of this blog's efforts to see what the Big Red, Dead-Head was up to in the year before we heisted him from da Clipjoint.
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