Here are the third and fourth player capsules in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season.
The grades started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. We continue here with small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons.
2011-2012 contributions: Gomes had his worst season as a professional this year, playing in fewer than half of the Clips' 66 regular-season contests and scoring in double digits only one time. The last time he played in a game was mid-March and the last time he played meaningful minutes was mid-February. Incidentally, that was also when he made a crucial mistake on an inbounds pass against the San Antonio Spurs and arguably cost the Clippers a big win against their eventual second-round opponents. Gomes lost his spot in the rotation to a guy on a 10-day contract, which we'll get to in more detail later, but that's never a good sign in the NBA.
2012-2013 prediction: Gomes, a fantastic locker-room guy, appears to have the best chance of any Clipper to be amnestied because of his contract situation. He has one more year remaining on his deal at $4 million, and his only real discernible value at this point would be as an expiring contract to add on to a trade. It's ironic -- last November he joked on Twitter that the amnesty clause in the new CBA could play a role in his future with the club after his poor debut season with the Clips in 2010-2011. That's no longer a laughing matter. If he stays with the team, it's unlikely he'll be anything more than an end-of-the-bench guy.
2011-2012 contributions: Simmons did more than expected for this season's Clippers, which isn't necessarily saying much considering he was nowhere near the team's radar at the start of the year. With Simmons averaging 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in the D-League in February, Neil Olshey picked him up off the scrap heap. He performed well defensively in the 32 games he appeared in from then on but really struggled shooting the ball -- making only 20 of his 60 field-goal attempts. He did start a playoff game for only the sixth time in his career and logged 32 playoff minutes.
2012-2013 prediction: It's unlikely that the 31-year-old Simmons will be brought back next season, because the Clippers are likely to seek out swingmen who better complement Caron Butler this offseason. He did prove this year that he's good enough to stick in the league on one side of the ball, at least.