Last Word On Basketball

LA Clippers Battle for Final Roster Spot

LA Clippers Demarcus Cousins

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 26: DeMarcus Cousins #4 of Denver Nuggets reacts during game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 26, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Clippers have been busy giving contract extensions to four players and signing point guard John Wall. One spot open for the Clippers could be given to a veteran free agent or one of their other young players. The Clippers might require a backup center to not force Nicolas Batum or Robert Covington to play at the position. They could also go for another point guard for depth chart injury concerns. There isn’t pressure for the Clippers to make the decision immediately. They could, however, sign a player to relieve the stress and have a player come in and be developed with head coach Ty Lue’s system and the chemistry on the team. Here are examples of players who could sign with the Clippers for that final roster spot.

Who Will Fill Out the Final Roster Spot for the LA Clippers?

Second Chance?: DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins has had a long and difficult road in the NBA over the past couple of years. He had problems staying on the Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets within the past two seasons. Cousins played for the Los Angeles Clippers after two ten-day contracts and the remainder of the season when the NBA Playoffs shifted over to the bubble in 2020. The team and the fans well respected him. The Clippers are a team that could not only sign Cousins to a guaranteed contract, but they can also rely on his ability to aggressively grab rebounds and go for second-chance buckets. He played 48 total games last season with the Bucks and the Nuggets. He has plenty left in the tank.

From Laker to Clipper: Carmelo Anthony

The Clippers already have a significant amount of forwards on their team. If coach Lue is more likely to have Covington play the backup center spot, they could be in the market for another power forward. Carmelo Anthony is a player who is a potential signee for the Clippers. Anthony is a former teammate of Paul George in the 2017-2018 NBA Season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was also a former teammate of Covington and Norman Powell when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2020-2021 NBA season. Anthony was one of the more efficient playmakers with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. He averaged 13.3 points per game, shooting a 44.1% field-goal percentage and a 37.5% three-point shooting percentage. At 38 years old, he doesn’t have much time left to potentially get his first NBA ring despite a legendary career.

Potential Homecoming: DeAndre Jordan or Blake Griffin

The Lob City Era for the Clippers was a successful era, despite their shortcomings in the playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets’ experiments with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were an absolute disaster. Jordan also had shortcomings with the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers last season. They clearly failed expectations or were poorly utilized with their teams after their time with the Clippers. Jordan hasn’t played more than 57 games than when he was with the Clippers. Griffin averaged 7.5 points per game in 82 games with the Nets. Either Jordan or Griffin could reunite with the team that drafted them and contribute to a stacked team without full expectations. This move would also ease the tension with the Clipper fans, who were broken-hearted by their departures.

Early Called Rookie?: Moussa Diabate

A big stretch is for the Clippers’ newest rookie to become a contributing player for the win-now team. The Clippers have shown they are more than willing to give young players like Brandon Boston Jr. or Terance Mann an NBA roster spot in their rookie season. If the Clippers see solid progress from Moussa Diabate in the Summer League, they could offer him a two-way roster spot. Diabate needs time to develop in the pace of the NBA. He is currently the second-tallest player on the team at 6-11, behind Ivica Zubac at 7-0. He is also one of the Clippers’ only two pure center position players. It is a huge uphill battle, but there could be a final roster spot with Diabate’s name on it.

From G-League: Jay Scrubb or Xavier Moon

There is the potential that the final roster spot of the Clipper could be given to either of their two two-way players. Scrubb has been with the Clippers since 2020 as he has played for the Clippers and the G-League affiliate Agua Caliente Clippers. Each year he has shown potential, but he also experienced significant injuries. Guard Xavier Moon is another player who has been battling from the G-League to the main roster for Los Angeles at times. Unlike Scrubb, Moon is a former undrafted player.

Scrubb and Moon have played regular-season games for the Clippers while injuries stacked on. Scrubb played in 18 games averaging 2.7 points per game last season. Moon played in ten games averaging 5.8 points per game. Scrubb and Moon are playing in the Summer League as they try to prove their worth for the potential final roster spot.

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