Our exit interview series on the 2024 Clippers continues with two-way big man Moussa Diabate.

Basic Information

Height: 6’10

Weight: 220 pounds

Position: Center/Power Forward

Age: 22

Years in NBA: 2

Key NBA Stats: 2.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 5.8 minutes per game across 11 games played (0 starts) on 52.6/64.3 (0 3PA, 1.3 FTA attempts) shooting splits (57.6 True Shooting)

G-League Stats: 15.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.1 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game across 19 games played (regular season + showcase cup) on 54.1/58.3 shooting splits (1/8 on threes)


After a fairly standard rookie season for a mid-2nd round rookie on a two-way (i.e., very little playing time and nearly all in garbage time), Clippers’ fans hoped Moussa would be able to get more time in the NBA this year. While the Clips had the rock-solid Ivica Zubac at starter, and brought Mason Plumlee back as the backup, the trading of all of the Clippers’ forwards in the Harden deal meant less small-ball, and Plumlee is old. Thus, a Plumlee injury would have seemed to open the door for Moussa minutes. If Moussa did play, the expectation was for lots of energy, some switchable if foul-prone defense, and rough offense outside of offensive rebounding.


What was described above happened almost to a T. The Clippers traded for Harden, moving all of their forwards. And in the sixth game of the season, Plumlee got injured. The next game, PJ Tucker played backup center, but after that, Moussa got the call, and logged 10+ minutes in two straight games on November 10 and 12. Moussa actually had a “big” game against the Mavs, scoring 11 points with 9 rebounds, but he was predictably rough on offense overall, and with the Clippers in the middle of their early season six-game losing streak, Daniel Theis was signed to shore up the Clippers’ center depth.

Moussa played in three of the next nine games, but all of his minutes were in garbage time. The Clippers caught their groove in early December, Theis was playing well, and Moussa went back to the G-League. He only played in two more games the rest of the season after November 30, spending nearly all of his time in Ontario. Unfortunately, Moussa suffered through several injuries, including a broken finger, and played a mere 19 games in the G-League.

In the end, it was a bit of a lost season for Moussa, who had solid stats in the G-League but did not improve upon his rookie numbers and got in way fewer reps. Hopefully he’s able to get in a lot of work this summer and has a solid Summer League, because he’s in a very similar position to Jason Preston last year, where the clock is clearly ticking on his place in the NBA.

Future with Clippers

Moussa will be a restricted free agent this summer, and has only two years of NBA play, which means he’s still eligible for a two-way deal. Considering how little he’s showed, it seems very unlikely another team will offer him a real NBA contract, though it is possible.

If nobody else makes an offer to Moussa, it’s likely that the Clippers bring him back on another two-way. Moussa is still 22, and while this season was a bit of a lost year, the Clippers only have one second round pick and no pipeline of young guys to bring into the rotation. Maybe the Clippers are just out on Moussa and let him walk or don’t even bother tending him a qualifying offer. I’d guess he’s back next year, but if Kai Jones does stick with the team Moussa’s path to any rotation minutes becomes nearly impossible.

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