The Clippers today waived rookie free agent Marqus Blakely. After I went through a rather lengthy explanation of why they probably didn't need to make the decision today, the NBA's deadline for getting rosters down to 15, the Clippers went ahead and did it today anyway. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a reverse mojo moment, but it's in the ballpark.
It may be that Blakely's contract was indeed tied to the end of pre-season. It may be that the decision was inevitable and the Clippers wanted to get the information out there when all the other teams were making cuts also. Blakely after all will be looking for another basketball job now, along with the other players waived today, so this gives him a chance to find another opportunity before the best ones are gone.
I am a little disappointed in this decision. Marqus Blakely honestly looked like the best of the Clippers four rookies in Summer League in Las Vegas, but he played only 18 minutes in pre-season, which was probably not enough of an opportunity to show what he can do. Given that they signed him and even gave him a modest guarantee in his contract, I would have thought they would have taken a good look at him in pre-season games. But it wasn't to be.
It was clearly going to be a tough transition for Blakely. At 6'5", he played power forward in college, getting almost all of his scoring in the paint at Vermont (go Catamounts!) He was going to have to be a small forward or even a shooting guard in the NBA. His athleticism and length are elite - he was the Clippers' best wing defender in Summer League by a long shot. But his ball skills on the offensive end need a lot of work, and that may be a lengthy process, if indeed he can ever get to an NBA level there.
Given the nature of the transition he was attempting, it could definitely take some time. To that end, don't be surprised if Marqus Blakely winds up back in the Assoc. in a year or two. The guy can play.