“Adding these two players complements the make-up of our team very well,” said Bickerstaff. “We now have six players that are 6-9 or taller for a nice rotation in the center and power forward positions and we have solidified our point guard position, as well.”
Ely, a 6-10, 261-pounder was initially drafted by the Clippers with the 12th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. In two seasons, Ely has appeared in 94 games with nine starts, averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.
“Melvin Ely is someone who commands respect in the low post on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He is an old-school type of player who is physically tough,” Bickerstaff said. “He can conceivably play multiple positions in the frontcourt, at both center and forward, and can attract double-teams in the post.”
In his rookie season with the Clippers, he played in 52 games with seven starts, averaging 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.4 minutes while shooting .495 from the field. Ely finished the season strong with averages of 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in February and 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in March. Ely completed his second season with the Clippers in 2003-04, playing in 42 games with two starts and posting averages of 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 12.1 minutes.
“Eddie House has the ability to be an outside shooting threat and will give us another scorer,” Bickerstaff said. “Another thing I like about him is his versatility to play some point guard and off-guard.”
While with the Heat, he played in 169 games with 10 starts and averaged 7.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 16.6 minutes. His top season came in 2001-02 when he averaged 8.0 points. After signing with the Clippers for the 2003-04 season, he appeared in 60 games with 10 starts and averaged 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 19.8 minutes.