Clippers: Wilcox, Dawson recalled from D-League


After spending a few games in the D-League on assignment with the Bakersfield Jam, Branden Dawson and C.J. Wilcox have been recalled by the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced via press release earlier this week.

In what’ll likely be a back-and-forth situation for Wilcox and Dawson throughout the season, the first stint could be described as successful, with most of the word’s bearings having to do with how Wilcox performed for the Jam.

Appearing in seven games, Wilcox averaged 19.5 points, the second on the team, while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three. The shooting guard also tacked on 4.14 rebounds and 2.71 assists per contest. Having seen a handful of Wilcox’s scoring clips, the points came as you’d expect from a player of his talents: jump shots, off screens, pull-up attempts, etc. In comparison to last season’s D-League stint, Wilcox’s shooting percentages have dipped a hash, but the increased volume — from 9.8 field-goal attempts per game to 13.8; from 4 three-point attempts per game to 7.7; from 1.8 free-throw attempts to 2.8 per game — makes his ’15-16 showing far more impressive. Questions still remain as to whether Wilcox can thrive against NBA-level players on a game-by-game basis but at the moment, seeing his developments over the course of Year 1 to Year 2 should breed a tiny bit of optimism.

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For Dawson, it’s a one-step-at-a-time type of thing. Even with the most impressive Summer League performance by an player on the Clippers’ roster this past summer, it was clear Dawson, whom the team traded for in the second round of the ’15 NBA Draft, was a long way from consistent NBA minutes, needing to expand his game offensively and hone in defensively — the latter was far more impressive than the former, showing shades of a player athletic and instinctive enough to switch on any and every pick-and-roll involved in.

In six games with the Jam, Dawson averaged 6.3 points on 41% shooting, 3.8 rebounds, and .5 blocks in 17 minutes per game — it should be noted there were 0 threes attempted in this timeframe. Digging into “advanced numbers” they better paint the rookie’s struggles: an 8.7 PER, 83.6 offensive rating, 14.39 TO%, .399 TS%. That’s… well.. not good, but for Dawson, any time spent on a floor in meaningful games will be productive toward his development. In the scenario he transforms into a rotation player, Dawson’s time in the D-League will have helped toward that. But for now, the reality is he’s a long ways away and should probably remain in the minor league for the rest of the season.

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It’s unclear what’s next for the two as of now. In their first game back with the Clippers, Wilcox and Dawson were on the inactive list. It’s possible Rivers wants to keep the two around the team as the holidays grow near; who knows. Maybe we see spot minutes from Wilcox as it looks like Wesley Johnson is the odd-man out in the Clippers’ wing rotation after being booted from the starting lineup and replaced by Luc Mbah a Moute. Or maybe even dipping into Paul Pierce‘s minutes as he looks less and less of a NBA player by the game, though scenario 1 would probably happen before scenario 2 barring injury. Both are highly unlikely but the Clippers could really use a low-usage three-point shooter to fit into the bench unit, and on paper that fits Wilcox.

Whenever more news is released on the next move involving Wilcox, Dawson, or both, we’ll be sure to update and inform on such.