Per Shams Charania of the Athletic, the Clippers plan to sign current two-way player Josh Primo to a full deal, and then sign Xavier Moon to the vacant two way spot.
The “plan to” component is key, as Andrew Greif of the LA Times then said shortly thereafter that “nothing appears imminent” regarding end of roster moves. The Clippers had two weeks to sign a 14th player to their roster after the Harden deal, giving them another 9 days or so to make something happen. Maybe the Clippers sign someone else if they become available, but this seems to be the “plan” right now.
Quite frankly, I don’t understand it. I already wrote about my feelings on Primo at length, and don’t want to re-hash. But even from a basketball perspective, this doesn’t make much sense.
The Clippers depleted their veteran forward depth in the Harden deal, and are loaded at guards. The logical move would be to sign a veteran forward, preferably more at the 4, to supplement PJ Tucker and provide backup depth. The Clippers moving to sign Primo and Moon does none of that.
Primo, while 6’5, is absolutely more of a guard than a true wing, much less a forward. He’s also extremely young and more of a long-term prospect than any kind of win-now player. That sort of signing makes basketball sense as a two-way, not as a full-time roster player. Even if you think Primo is capable of providing depth minutes for a playoff contender (and nothing in his first year plus in the NBA indicates that), the depth he provides is at the positions the Clippers are deepest at.
The Clippers love Xavier Moon. He brings great vibes, is a terrific leader for the Ontario Clippers, and is a capable enough third string point guard in a pinch. However, with the Harden signing, the Clippers have tons of depth at point guard as well, with Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Bones Hyland all playing that spot, and guys like Terance Mann and even Amir Coffey being able to pick up the slack as needed. This seems like a move just to reward Moon and keep him in the system, which is fine – but doesn’t help the LA Clippers on their championship pursuit.
All of the reporting is that the Clippers are more or less happy with the top of their roster now, and any other big moves won’t be done until much closer to the trade deadline. I’m a little more skeptical of that, but even still would have liked to have seen a veteran forward (Wenyen Gabriel, Darius Bazley, JaMychal Green) added for depth at the back of the roster.
These are not make or break moves, and may not even happen. They are just a bit puzzling for the Clippers with their current roster and aspirations.