The “Where Are They Now” offseason series on Clippers of yore returns with a look at big man Angel Delgado.
Angel Delgado went unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft, but shortly after the draft was signed to a two-way contract by the Clippers. Compared to other two-way signees such as CJ Williams, Ty Wallace, or Amir Coffey, Delgado saw very little in the way of NBA playing time, appearing in just two games, both garbage time exclusives, and scoring just three points in his 15 total minutes. Delgado was, however, a significant force for the Agua Caliente Clippers, where he took a starring role. Angel averaged 18.5 points, an incredible 14.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in 33.4 minutes across 44 contests while scoring at a highly efficient clip. He also pulled in 31 rebounds in a single game, setting a still-standing record. The result of all this was the G-League Rookie of the Year Award and placement on the 1st Team All G-League, a prestigious honor for a 24-year-old rookie.
2019 – 2020
Despite his G-League success, the Clippers did not bring Angel back on a two-way deal. Instead, he went to China, specifically the Beijing Flying Tigers in the top Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) League. However, Delgado never appeared in a game in China, and signed with Hapoel Holon in December 2019. Angel played in 10 games for Hapoel, averaging 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 53.7% from the field and 50% from the line. Despite the solid-ish numbers in a decent league, apparently there were some issues, as Delgado left the team in early January due to personal reasons. He was claimed by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in March 2020, and returned to the G-League to play a couple games before the season ended. Overall, a tumultuous season for Angel after the highs of the previous year.
2020 – 2021
In July 2020, Delgado signed with Movistar Estudiante of the Liga ACB, widely regarded as the top domestic league in the world outside of the NBA. While not a EuroLeague level squad like Real Madrid or Barcelona, Estudiante is a long-running ACB club that has a rivalry with Real due to its location in Madrid. Angel did well, starting in 21 of 34 games and averaging 8.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 65.4% from the field. Unfortunately, the team struggled, going 9-27 and getting relegated to the second division Spanish LEB Gold at the end of the year.
2021 – 2022
In July 2021, Delgado signed with Bilbao Basket, also of the Liga ACB (and currently home to such recognizable names as Andrew Goudelock and Jeff Withey). He played even better than he had the year before, starting in 31 of 34 games (playing all contests for two years in a row) and averaging 11.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 64.9% from the field. Bilbao went 16-18, strong enough to gain a qualification in the Basketball Champions League, a FIBA-organized European-wide basketball competition below EuroLeague and Eurocup.
Despite his success in the last two years in Spain, Angel has moved on, signing with Karsiyaka Basket of the Turkish Basketball Super League, another top-tier European domestic league. With Karsiyaka, Angel will team with Errick McCollum, CJ’s older brother and a renowned international player.
Nearly 28, and with a plodding, traditional big-man style game that doesn’t fit much with the modern NBA, Angel Delgado seems unlikely to make an NBA comeback. A legitimately dominant rebounder and solid paint scorer overseas, Delgado offers no offensive spacing, isn’t quick enough to defend on the perimeter, and isn’t a great rim protector. Still, those issues matter less outside the NBA, and Angel is good enough to have a nice if not glamorous career on high-level (though not quite top-tier) foreign clubs for the rest of his playing prime.