Winning it all and hoisting their first Larry O’Brien Trophy will be on the forefront of the LA Clippers minds this upcoming season. After suffering through years of mediocrity, humiliating defeats, and lackluster efforts on both sides of the ball, the Clippers have aggregated a roster that appears built on competing with the upper echelon of both the Western and Eastern Conferences.
By and large, LA will be led into battle by their two superstars, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. LA’s ancillary pieces in Norman Powell, Reggie Jackson, and Robert Covington, however, will play significant roles. With a veteran-laced roster and only a second-round pick in this year’s upcoming draft, many of their younger players will seldom step foot onto the court when it matters most. Be that as it may, LA has a small handful of up-and-coming players who could leap into the spotlight this upcoming season.
While they won’t be depended upon on a nightly basis, who amongst their young players will shine when their number is called and mitigate LA’s woes on either the offensive or defensive end? Keep reading and we’ll give you three likely candidates to have a breakout season next year.
3. Terance Mann
The talent of Terance Mann is ostensible. After snagging their man in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, the combo guard has continually improved.
This past season, after stepping into a bigger role due to the absence of Kawhi Leonard and the perpetual lingering injuries of Paul George, Mann went on to average a shade of 10 points per game in just 28.6 minutes a night.
With more offensive responsibilities coupled with more defensive pressure, Mann easily scored over a wave of countless defenders, registering a field goal percentage of 48.4%.
As the 2022-23 season nears, Mann will likely fall to the back of LA’s offensive depth chart. Still, even with his touches decreasing, Mann has shown in years past that he’ll thrive under less pressure. During the 2020-21 season, LA housed a fully fit roster. As a result, Mann scored on backdoor cuts and capitalized on wide-open 3-point looks, nailing 41.8% of his shots from distance and over 50% from the field.
Of course, in Mann’s most notable game, he became obtrusive to Utah Jazz during the 2021 Western Conference Semis. After falling behind by 25 points, Mann led the charge as LA clawed their way back into it. The versatile combo guard finished the night with 39 points, pushing the Clippers to their first, and so far only, Western Conference Finals appearance.
Mann won’t be given too many opportunities this upcoming season, but if his efficiency continues to soar, he’ll play a major role in LA’s title aspirations.