The Clippers swap out one polarizing player to sign another ahead of the playoffs

As the LA Clippers prepare for what they hope will be a long playoff run, they have just finalized their postseason roster with a couple of surprise moves.
Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard / Rich Storry/GettyImages

As the Los Angeles Clippers prepare for what could be a long playoff run, they have just finalized their postseason roster with a couple of surprise moves. After taking a flyer on 2021 lottery pick Joshua Primo, the Clippers opted to waive him after he fractured his foot playing in the NBA G-League.

Primo was considered a controversial signing given the troubling allegations made against him that the NBA apparently corroborated prior to the Clippers adding him to their roster. Ironically, he played just 30 minutes over three games with the Clippers this season, with most of his time spent in the G League.

The hope, at least on their part, was that he could live up to the expectations the San Antonio Spurs, the team that drafted him, had for him before he was waived. In theory, allegations aside, it was a worthwhile gamble for LA since the Spurs seldom miss on draft prospects.

They appeared to be particularly high on him given that he was the youngest player in his draft class and showed significant potential as both a shooter and playmaker while still growing physically. That didn't happen and Primo didn't stand out when playing in the G League. Now they have swapped him out for another polarizing player ahead of the playoffs.

The Clippers waive Joshua Primo to sign Kai Jones ahead of the playoffs.

Before the Philadelphia 76ers took a flyer on big man Kai Jones back in March, he hadn't played an NBA game since last season. This comes after he washed out with the Charlotte Hornets, who have been one of the worst teams in the league over the last two seasons. Although he has plenty of potential given his size, athleticism, and mobility, he failed to stick in his two previous stops.

There have been concerns about his behavior in the past but nothing recent. While he may not play a big role with the Clippers this postseason, they could see what he can do and potentially bring him back ahead of next season to compete for a roster spot.

All in all, the Clippers decision to cut Primo loose was a result of his foot injury, with his previous conduct not playing a role in his release. That move cleared a roster spot for Jones, who, while intriguing given his size and athleticism, has failed to carve out a role thus far in his NBA career but eventually might with the Clippers.