While a lot of time has been dedicated to breaking down and analyzing the Clippers two 1st round picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson, it’s an undrafted member of the Clippers that I’m extremely excited about this season.
Angel Delgado didn’t hear his name called this year but it did not take long for the Clippers to sign him to a two-way contract shortly after the draft. Throughout his 4-year tenure at Seton Hall Delgado was named the Rookie of the Year in the Big East, averaged a double-double, ended up breaking the great Derrick Coleman’s record for the most rebounds in Big East history, and finished his career by winning the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for the Best Center in the Country. After all of this Delgado didn’t even get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine, something that could fuel him to continue to improve and make teams regret passing on his high-motor and dominant rebounding abilities.
Delgado is an undersized center, coming in at around 6’ 10”, whos college resume screams “HUSTLE”. With another undersized, hustle-loving center on the team in the form of Montrezl Harrell, Delgado has a fantastic resource should he fully commit to soaking up some big-league knowledge that could make him an integral rotational piece in the future. What has me most excited about Delgado is the fact that he improved every year he was at Seton Hall. The Clippers are loaded up on players who stayed more than a year in college and the constant improvement shows that Delgado understands how to take direction and make adjustments to his game. Keeping a core of smart, unselfish players is how teams build championship rosters; if Delgado can keep improving in the G-League, with hopefully a few appearances against the big boys at some point, there is a great chance he cements himself as a key piece of the Clippers bench.
With only two two-way contracts available for each team the fact that the Clippers used one on Delgado gives hope that he’s being considered for NBA service time. Even though the Clippers have depth at center after Marcin Gortat the “who’s up next” is a little murky: Boban is efficient but can only really contribute in short spurts, Mike Scott is serviceable at center but more suited to power forward, and Sam Dekker…can hold a basketball in his hands when asked. The pieces are in place for Delgado to show what he can do this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he earns a decent chunk of minutes by the end of the year.
Photo: Clippers Digital