The LA Clippers released their roster for the 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League today, as well as the schedule for their first four games in Vegas.
The Clippers’ Summer League roster is headlined by three players who will be on the roster next season: Jason Preston and Brandon Boston, the 33rd and 51st picks in the 2021 NBA Draft a year ago, and Moussa Diabate, the 43rd pick in last month’s 2022 NBA Draft. Preston and Boston have guaranteed contracts on the 15-man roster, while Diabate is expected to sign a two-way contract.
Preston, a 6’4″ point guard who was touted for his basketball IQ and passing coming into the league, grew into summer league as the week went on last year but missed the entire season with a foot injury. He’ll hope to take advantage of a fresh start this year as a “redshirt rookie” and should be the primary floor general for this summer league team. With the addition of John Wall, Preston will find regular minutes hard to come by next season, but he should still get sporadic depth minutes in addition to consistent G-League time in Agua Caliente. Already turning 23 in August, Jason’s challenge will be overcoming some of the question marks regarding his athleticism and defense coming out of college to prove his passing can translate to the NBA level. Showing well in Summer Leage won’t guarantee a positive answer to those questions, but a poor showing here would be concerning.
Boston was a high-upside gamble late in the draft for LAC that looks promising based on early returns, as he saw 760 NBA minutes as a rookie last season and flashed serious potential even if he lacked consistency and didn’t overall produce at a rotation player level. He’s still just 20 years old and played well in limited G-League chances last season (he spent most of the year with the big club), and my hopes are high that Brandon can be a standout of this year’s Summer League. The outlook for getting 760 NBA minutes again next year is grim, as Kawhi Leonard returning from injury pushes every wing one notch down the depth chart and Boston is currently probably on track to be the 14th man next year unless the Clippers make a trade. Still, he should be the favorite to lead the Summer Clippers in scoring before also spending a lot of time starring for Agua Caliente next season.
The Clippers nabbed Diabate in the second round last month with the understanding that he would accept a two-way contract, a necessity due to the team’s roster crunch for the upcoming season. They’re gambling on his athleticism, high motor, and work ethic to overcome concerns about his skill level offensively and defensive positioning. Moussa, like Boston, was a highly-touted high school prospect who LAC was able to get in the second round after a poor freshman season in college. He has the potential to be a pretty fun Summer League watch due to his high motor in the chaotic play style of this event, but don’t be surprised if he struggles with the strength of some of the centers he’ll be going up against.
Some other names of note on this roster are Xavier Moon, Jay Scrubb, Justin Bean, Michael DeVoe, and Lucas Williamson. Moon and Scrubb are both coming off of two-way contracts for the Clippers last season, but the team declined to tender a qualifying offer to either to make them restricted free agents. It’s likely that the Clippers are looking to move on from Moon as they don’t need another point guard, and Scrubb is reportedly looking to make a roster next year rather than play on a two-way deal again. They should both be able to help the Clippers win Summer League games while showcasing for their next deal, but at this point I would be surprised to see either on LAC’s opening night roster–they might have better career outlooks in Europe next season. Bean, DeVoe, and Williamson are a trio of undrafted free agents, but they stand out from the rest of the crop heading into Summer League because the Clippers have already signed them to Exhibit 10 contracts, which is essentially a training camp deal with the option to convert to a two-way. While LAC has no obligation to these three players and could easily opt to go another way to fill the second two-way spot alongside Diabate, they at least appear to be the three frontrunners fighting for that last spot. It’s worth noting, though, that the rest of the roster is replete with two-way eligible players who would love to put their names in that conversation as well.
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