LA Clippers: Agua Caliente standouts of 2019-2020

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Although the real show to watch is up in the NBA with the LA Clippers, the Agua Caliente Clippers of the G-Leauge still host the future of the franchise. Today, we are looking at who the most impressive players were that Clippers fans can expect to see at some point in the upcoming seasons.

It seems like such a long time ago that LA Clippers fans had only one positive outlook that involved the prospects of the future, and although we have a great enough team to stop fawning over draft picks, prospects are still the heartbeat of any franchise.

If you are left with no NBA-ready prospects, your heartbeat for the future could be either very weak or nothing at all. For the LA Clippers, they have found a way to pick out pieces of gold over recent years in the draft and outside of it, and that has led to some real standouts in the G-Leauge. Perhaps the biggest standout for LA right now is Johnathan Motley.

Motley, a 6-8 twenty-four-year-old forward, has been outstanding in the G-League this year. Originally undrafted, this promising prospect has put down 624 points in 859 minutes on the court for Agua Caliente in this season alone. Through thirty-five games up with the LA Clippers, Motley also racked up 130 points in two seasons, and his two-way contract has proved very worthwhile for LA through long stretches of back-to-backs and injuries.

Motley is also averaging the highest points per game and highest field-goals made with the second-highest minutes per game on the team but often gets into turnover trouble considering his 3.8 turnover average. Up with LA, his average for turnovers drops significantly to 0.6, but it could still use some work for when he finally finds a more permanent spot with the Clips. In total, Motley is averaging 24.0 points, 3.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game this season in the G-League. Alongside the main duo of the team, Motley is a very bright spot for the future of the team up in LA with his stellar numbers giving Agua Caliente a chance to win every night.

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Mfiondu Kabengele, twenty-two and 6’9″, and Terance Mann, twenty-three and 6’5″, have torn up the G-League in their first season after being drafted during the summer, and they have had a lot to prove after being drafted just before the new elite duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined the main team. Kabengele at center and Mann at forward are combining to top the charts of the team, and their personal achievements have been very enjoyable to watch.

For Kabengele this season, he is third in points, three-pointers made, free throws made, second in total rebounds, and first in blocks. For Mann, he is third in field-goal percentage, second in assists, and is tied for first for +/-. Kabengele’s biggest problem is accumulating too many fouls, but with the LA Clippers, he only took nine fouls compared to his ninety-nine in the G-League, so he continues to take steps in just his first season of professional ball.

Mann is an all-around solid player that averages middle to high stats for the team, and his ability to work with the entire team has proven to be very useful. Mann is averaging 15.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 8.7 rebounds this season alongside Kabengele’s 18.7 points, 1.4 assists, and 9.3 rebounds. These Florida State partners could potentially make one of the most interesting and hilarious NBA duos to ever be drafted late in the first and second rounds of the draft, but they will first have to prove their amazing potential by working up the ranks of an already stacked Clippers team. One undrafted prospect is already giving them a run for their money.

In the categories of points per game, field-goals per game, three point percentage per game, assists per game, and +/-, Amir Coffey comes in the top five in all those statistics. This twenty-two-year-old 6’7″ guard/forward combo is also the leader of the team in three-point percentage and one of the best three-point shooters on the team in general. His skill ceiling with a solid assisting team around him is incredibly high, and his worth for the Clippers is almost unbelievable for someone who went undrafted. I even wrote an article about everything that he brings to the club up in LA already, he is really that good.

It seems hard to judge any of these players too harshly yet due to their limited time on a championship-contending team, but Coffey is truly ready to take the next step towards a more permanent position in LA. Twenty-eight points, nine assists, and fourteen rebounds through thirteen games in the NBA is a very promising look for this young prospect in just his first year in the G-League and the NBA. With an average of 15.7 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in Agua Caliente, Coffey might just be another non-draftee to really prove that drafted players don’t always take the cake for the players with the most promise.

The last two players on this list are without a doubt two very obscure people to most Clippers fans, but they are also two great dark horse candidates for who finds their way up to the main club next. Donte Grantham, twenty-five and 6-8, and James Palmer Jr., twenty-three and 6-5, are both making waves down in the G-League, and they are doing it in different ways. For Grantham as a forward, he is averaging 11.6 points, 2.6 assists, and 6.9 rebounds, while Palmer as a guard/forward combo is averaging 19.1 points, 2.7 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.

The only three people in front of Grantham in average rebounds are Kabengele, Motley, and Mann. For Palmer, he falls just short of Motley for most points averaged per game. In total, Palmer has the second-most points scored all season, and Grantham leads the team in total rebounds. Both players come in third and forth in total assists as well. They are deserving of a look from Clippers fans as they provide so much behind the usual suspects down in the G-Leauge. They might just be wearing Los Angeles jerseys in Inglewood within the next few years.

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In closing, the LA Clippers have plenty of talent down with the Agua Caliente Clippers that deserves more attention. Kawhi and PG stealing the show isn’t surprising, but the future is hard to ignore, and these prospects are where the Clippers need to start. Motley, Kabengele, Mann, Coffey, Grantham, and Palmer are all names that could don Clippers jerseys very soon, with or without the stars LA has now. It just might be the next great youthful Clippers team beckoning back to the days of the knuckleheads. All we can hope for is maybe a little more success than those days, however.