There has been almost no big NBA news the past few days, but a bit of Clippers’ news dropped today when Shams Charania reported the Clippers were signing Kai Jones to a non-guaranteed deal. Shams also specifically noted that Jones will have the “chance to compete for roster spot next season”.

I wrote about Jones when the Clippers first signed him right before the playoffs, and mentioned he’d likely be on their Summer League team and given a training camp slot. That is half correct – he will go into training camp, but will not participate in Summer League due to injury.

Ultimately, I don’t think this is a big deal either way. Some Clippers fans have been very excited about Jones, and I must confess I don’t share that sentiment. He’s now 23.5, has barely played in the NBA, and when he has played has been very bad. He’s still young enough and untested enough to have upside, but I think a path towards a meaningful player is remote-ish.

At the same time, this is a fully nonguaranteed deal, more or less just a training camp invite. Law Murray has indicated that the team will bring in competition for Jones in training camp, so the 3rd center spot behind Ivica Zubac and Mo Bamba is not secure by any means. Additionally, since he’s only played minutes in two NBA seasons, Jones is still eligible for a two-way, and the only two-way slot currently occupied is Jordan Miller’s.

The Kai Jones signing probably means very little for the rest of the Clippers’ roster, outside of maybe decreasing Moussa Diabate’s chances of being on it. The Clippers have not yet announced their 2024 Summer League roster, so it will be interesting to see if Moussa is on it or if both sides have moved on.

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