A training camp invitation doesn’t guarantee anything, but it shows the Los Angeles Clippers might be interested in signing Gilbert Arenas despite missing all of last season and the team having a very crowded backcourt.
Well, Arenas wasn’t completely unemployed last season. He signed with Chinese team Shanghai Sharks, averaging 20.7 points per game in 14 games with the team. However, not getting an offer from any NBA team didn’t stop him from trying to get back in.
Arenas last played in the league for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2011-2012; He was picked up in March after waiting around for a few months following the amnesty clause used by the Orlando Magic to get out of his huge contract. He played 17 games (12.4 minutes a night) for the Grizzlies, averaging 4.2 points per game. He was even less meaningful in the playoffs.
The head scratching thing about Arenas’ invite is the number of players the Clippers already have signed to their backcourt: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison and rookie Reggie Bullock. If Arenas is signed, it’ll likely hurt Bullock and Collison the most, but it’s hard imagining him having any kind of role that’s more than around 10 minutes a night, at best.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld is suggesting that the invitation isn’t a done deal yet, so it still may be that Arenas won’t be playing training camp basketball with the Clippers after all, but it just goes to show that you may never be completely out of the league, even if it seems like no one really wants you anymore.
Arenas enjoyed his best seasons in the mid 00’s, playing for the Washington Wizards. He led them to three postseason appearances, averaging over 25.5 points per game for three consecutive seasons, including a career high 29.3 during the 2005-2006 season, finishing 4th on the scoring charts. He played only 13 games in the 2007-2008 season due to injury, but he wasn’t the same player after he returned, and the Wizards ended up making a huge mistake giving him a $111 million, six-year deal.