Our player preview series for the 2024 Clippers season continues with Bones Hyland, the Clippers’ backup point guard.

Basic Information

Height: 6’3

Weight: 175 pounds

Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Age: 23 (birthday is today!)

Years in NBA: 2

Key Clippers Stats: 10.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.1 turnovers in 18.9 minutes per game across 14 games played (0 starts) on 40.1/35.1/75 shooting splits with 51.8% TS in regular season

Contract Status: $2.3M this season, team option of $4.1M for next season


Bones Hyland is the Clippers’ locked in backup point guard for the 2024 season behind Russell Westbrook. In fact, since Jason Preston is likely to be waived or traded before the season, Bones is really the only other true point guard on the roster outside of Russ (Terance Mann can play point guard but the Clippers clearly don’t want him to). The Clippers didn’t give up a ton for Bones at last trade deadline (just a couple of 2nd round picks) but they clearly like him a lot, and his energy, shooting, and pace bring elements that the Clippers are clearly lacking. Bones should get 15-18 minutes per game pretty steadily off the bench, play more when he’s hot, and start when Russ is out. It’s maybe not the role that he wants, but it’s a consistent one unless he really messes up.


Bones Hyland is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. That might sound like a wild claim considering he’s a third-year player who is averaging 36.8% from deep so far in his NBA career, but it’s true. Shooting at the NBA level is not just about percentages (apologies to all of the Luke Kennard stans out there) – it’s about volume, difficulty, and variety of attempts. And Bones checks all of those boxes. He launched 13.7 threes per 100 possessions on the Clippers, the highest on the team by a mile, with Paul George next at 10.8 and nobody else above 10 (Kennard was at 8.9). He’s also adept at shooting off the catch as well as off the dribble, and can drain threes from up to 30 feet out. Of Bones’ threes, 80.8% were assisted, which sounds high but was actually third-lowest on the Clippers (of guys with meaningful volume) behind Kawhi and Paul George (Kennard was at 93.2% and Eric Gordon at 89.4%). Bones’ ability to take and make deep threes off the dribble opens up things for the rest of the offense, as he needs to be guarded 26+ feet from the rim. Bones can also play off-ball, and his overall shooting is simply a highly potent NBA skill.

Despite being known as a shooter and gunner, Bones is a very good passer. He was 3rd on the 2023 Clippers (among rotation players) in assists per 100 possessions as well as assist percentage. Bones is particularly adept in the pick and roll, leveraging the threat of his shooting to get past defenders or make pocket passes to rolling big men. His solid-enough height for a point guard also enables him to pass over the top of defenses, including making some truly difficult cross-court dimes. Bones might be shot-happy, but he’s a good enough playmaker to be a lead guard running an offense, and considering his reputation as a wild player, he also doesn’t turn the ball over much.

One of Bones’ natural attributes can’t be quantified, and that’s the energy and joy with which he plays. The Clippers were a slog to watch nearly all of last season, and while good (and even great) teams can be tough watches, there was something even worse about a mediocre team being so miserable. Bones is fun. He makes a conscious effort to get the crowd involved, and was instantly a favorite at Staples Center. Maybe Bones’ energy and verve won’t lead to wins, but it will make the viewing experience better, and that’s a huge plus for fans.


Bones Hyland’s biggest weakness is obvious; he’s a poor (at best) defender at the NBA level. Bones generally has good instincts and his quickness and wingspan enable him to force steals as well as bother passing lanes, but he’s just too physically weak against most NBA players except other very small guards. He’s liable to get pushed around in the post, brushed aside on drives to the rim, and crunched on every screen. His lateral quickness isn’t bad, but until he puts on some bulk and strength and won’t be shouldered aside so easily he will be a below-average defender.

The paradox of Bones is that part of what makes him so fun – the ability and willingness to launch threes four possessions in a row and attempt audacious shots and passes – is also what makes him an unreliable player. This is especially true as a point guard/lead ballhandler or playmaker, as you really need those kinds of players to be a steadying presence at the highest level. If Bones is going to become a starting-level player, he needs to get a better understanding of when to shift to scoring and playmaking modes, and more importantly, get a proper balance. The smarter he gets about how he runs the offense, the more effective he’ll be, and the more coaches will trust him.

However, it’s not just when he decides to shoot that makes Bones an incomplete offensive player. It’s that his scoring inside the three-point art is decidedly weak. Even though he gets to the rim and paint quite a bit (34% of his shots as a Clipper, and 29% across his career, come from 0-3 or 3-10 feet), and the rest of his shots are from deep (he limits inefficient midrange jumpers), he’s a below-average scorer at every level. After finishing well at the rim his rookie season, he shot just 61.8% there his sophomore year, and has been an abysmal 29.9% on shots from 3-10 feet (floater range) across his career. This is partially on decision-making, as Bones will attempt shots he has no chance at, but is also part of the lack of physical strength, as he can’t push through any defenders. If Bones can’t get stronger at the rim or develop a legit floater game, he will remain a scorer from three and transition only.


Bones Hyland is a unique player on the 2024 Clippers in that he is someone who should both help them win this season and has huge upside for future teams. If anything I wish he had a larger role, but if he takes a step forward after a rough sophomore season he could be set up to be the Clippers’ point guard of the future. He needs to work on finishing, decision-making, and defense, but he should be a fan favorite for all that he offers, and hopefully helps bring a pep and verve to invigorate the sometimes moribund Clippers’ attack.

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