The Clippers announced this morning that they have waived guard Courtney Fortson and forward Chris Johnson, two training camp signees. That reduces the current roster to 18 players.
When the Clippers signed five players for camp, it was a given that none of them had much hope of making the team. After all, the team already had the maximum 15 players under contract. In order to keep any of the invitees, they would have to waive a player under contract.
So it's no surprise that the ax is starting to fall. I guess it's a shame for these two that they don't get to accompany the team to China, which could turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Then again, you can also see it from the team's perspective -- why take extra bodies across the Pacific for no reason.
It is a little surprising that Fortson was one of the first cuts, given that he was on his second tour in Clippers camp, and actually got a few regular season emergency minutes both with the Clippers and with the Rockets last season. Clearly rookie Hank Thorns, who played spot minutes in the preseason game in Las Vegas Saturday night, beat out Fortson as the "camp" point guard.
The Clippers now have three camp invitees -- Thorns, Marqus Blakely and Trent Plaisted -- still on the roster. That' a point guard, a wing and a big. Neither Thorns nor Plaisted has any hope of eventually making the team. Blakely might have the slimmest of chances to usurp Travis Leslie as the project wing athlete -- but probably not. Neither Blakely nor Plaisted played in the exhibition opener, but neither did Leslie.