8.12.2018

Clippers Ink Bill Walton and Marques Johnson




October 2, 1984
Like his former college teammate Marques Johnson did two days earlier, veteran center BillWalton forecast big things for the Clippers this season after signing a contract with the National Basketball Association team.

Walton, the 6-foot-11 veteran of 10 NBA seasons, ended speculation that he would sign an offer sheet with another NBA team or perform in Italy by agreeing to join the Clippers for their first season in Los Angeles.

Along with Walton, the Clippers also announced they got first-round draft choice Lancaster Gordon of Louisville in the fold. 

None of the contract terms were released.

The signings of Walton and Gordon come on the heels of the acquisition of Johnson, the veteran All-Star forward who was obtained from Milwaukee on Saturday in a six-player deal in which theClippers sent Terry Cummings to the Bucks.

"I'm very satisfied with the contract," Walton said at the Clippers training camp at Loyola Marymount University.

"I look forward to playing at home again. This is a tremendous opportunity to play on a team that could win a lot of games and do well in the season and hopefully through the playoffs.

"I think the addition of Marques, Junior Bridgeman and Harvey Catchings is a great thing. Those are three players who have spent the majority of their careers at the championship level," Waltonsaid.

The Clippers got Bridgeman and Catchings in the Johnson trade while giving up Cummings and guards Craig Hodges and Ricky Pierce.

When Johnson, who played with Walton for one year at UCLA, signed Saturday, he predicted that the Clippers would be "an up-tempo, creative" team with Walton at center.

The signing of Walton "fufills a committment" that the Clippers made in order to have a successful season, Clippers Vice President and General Manager Carl Scheer said.

The Clippers moved to Los Angeles from San Diego this year after recording a 30-52 record last season.

"With Walton healthy and in good physical condition, he can be one of the dominant centers to play the game of basketball," Scheer said. "I had made a committment to myself, the organization, and most importantly the fans of Los Angeles that we would re-sign Walton."

Walton
 played in 55 games for the team in San Diego last year, averaging 12.1 points and nine rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-11 center, a two-time NCAA Player of the Year during his collegiate career at UCLA, was named the league's Most Valuable Player while with Portland in 1978.

He has been plagued by a foot injury in the latter stages of his 10-year NBA career and missed two seasons in a row, from 1980 to 1982, while under contract with the Clippers.

Walton
 led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA championship in 1977.

Gordon, a 6-3 guard who led Louisville to the NCAA regional finals, was the eighth player chosen in the NBA draft.

"We are pleased to have such a quality, versatile player such as Lancaster as part of the newClippers era," Scheer said.

The terms of Gordon's contract also were not released.

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