The LA Clippers have waived two-way center Moses Brown, the team announced Friday. The decision was first reported by The Athletic’s Law Murray on twitter:
Brown was never likely to remain with the Clippers for the full season, as the team used his two-way contract eligibility as a way to avoid the luxury tax penalty of signing a veteran center for the full season. Two-way contract players can only be on their team’s active list for 50 games in a given season, and as Brown’s appearances reached the 30s in January, it became apparent that he would hit that limit well before the end of the regulars season.
One a two-way player hits his 50 games, teams have a few options. The Clippers could have converted him to a spot on their 15-man roster, but opted not to do so after the addition of Mason Plumlee in the backup center role at the deadline. If they believed that Brown was a piece for the future, they could have kept him until this summer and attempted to re-sign him, but once again his limitations as a player and the presence of Plumlee (who will be a free agent with bird rights this summer) made that an ulikely path forward. So, with no games remaining on his two-way deal and no desire to have him on the 15-man roster either this season or next season, the obvious decision was to release him so that they can sign a replacement player to that two-way slot.
Brown had a solid campaign for the Clippers in his role, exceeding expectations based on prior stops for competitive teams in Dallas and Cleveland where he was completely overwhelmed. His point and rebound averages have always been gaudy due to his size, but relative inefficiency and a lack of mobility on defense have kept him from a steady role on an NBA team. In games against Charlotte and Houston, Moses played a rotation role throughout the game (as opposed to just garbage time) and helped lift the Clippers to victory through his work on the offensive glass. Overall, I never developed hope that he’d be able to be a real piece for the Clippers due to his defensive weaknesses relegating him to playing a deep drop coverage in the restricted area, but Moses was always ready, always played hard, and legitimately exceeded expectations and helped the team at times in a limited role this year.
So far, there have been no immediate signs as to where the Clippers will look to replace this two-way slot. Given their current very strong depth situation, it’s unlikely that they feel they have to fill a rotation “need” like they did with Brown, although another frontcourt player would make sense in a Clipper garbage time contingent that currently includes Bones Hyland (a rotation guard who seems likely to get extra reps in garbage time), Jason Preston (guard), Brandon Boston (guard/wing), Amir Coffey (wing), and Moussa Diabate (big). Xavier Moon, who was with the Clippers last season and has been in Ontario with their G-League team this year, seems like an obvious candidate due to his good vibes and relationships on the team, but doesn’t seem to have a use case with Hyland and Preston around. Other Ontario Clippers who could see consideration are Nate Darling and Keaton Wallace, who have been among the team’s most impressive producers in the last two seasons, and former Clipper Malik Fitts, a 6’8″ stretch forward who is back in the Clippers’ G-League system after stints as a benchwarmer with the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics last season.