Los Angeles Clippers today waived forward Taj Gray.
Gray, who Earned First Team All-Big 12 honors in 2005 as a junior and second team All-Big 12 in 2006 as a senior at the University of Oklahoma, averaged 19.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks in 11 French league games played for Chorale de Roanne Basket last season.
The Clippers’ training camp roster currently stands at 17 players.
Gray is the first of the Clippers training camp invitees to find the dreaded red card hanging in his locker. Gray was brought to camp mostly to balance out the size differential for the practice teams, as the other three invitees are all smaller, perimeter oriented players. Dunleavy will likely have a hard enough time finding minutes for talents like DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith, so the chances that Gray had at making the team in the first place, even with a healthy knee, were practically none. Still, it’s a testament to the Clippers front court depth that Dunleavy saw no need in stringing along the one big man in camp without a guaranteed contract.
Jerel McNeal, Kareem Rush, and Anthony Roberson are the remaining training camp players battling for a chance at a roster spot. All three invitees shoot the ball incredibly well, but it doesn’t appear that anyone has separated themselves from the rest of the pack quite yet. Jerel “The Steal” McNeal seems to offer the best potential and is probably the best on ball defender of the bunch. Kareem Rush is the veteran of the group and the only player with substantial NBA experience. Anthony Roberson has bounced around quite a bit, but his perimeter shooting abilities have always landed him a job in the league. It will be interesting to see if Dunleavy bucks his tradition of going into the season with 14 players in order to carry an extra outside shooter. It’s pretty unlikely, but keep in mind that the coaching staff has been looking for an extra shooter all summer. Dionte Christmas, known for his outside shooting, was the high profile summer league invitee and is a very similar player to the three players now battling for a roster spot. An extra perimeter shooting guard off the bench is clearly a role that Dunleavy wants to fill sooner or later. Again, it’s unlikely one of these guys makes the roster, but don’t rule it out completely.