2012-2013 Clippers Exit Interviews: Maalik Wayns and DaJuan Summers

USA TODAY Sports

As we try to do every season here at Clips Nation, we're running a series of "exit interviews" of this year's Los Angeles Clippers. An overview and analysis, player by player, of all 15 Clippers who finished the 2012-2013 season on the roster. In this edition: little used rookies Maalik Wayns and DaJuan Summers.

Name: Maalik Wayns

2011-2012 Key Stats: 2.8 ppg, 1.0 apg, 7.5 mpg

Age: 22

Years in the NBA: 1

Years with the Clippers: 1

2012-2013 Salary: Minimum

Contract Status: Signed next season to an unguaranteed minimum contract.

Name: DaJuan Summers

2012-2013 Key Stats: 1.0 ppg, 1.0 apg, 3.5 mpg

Age: 25

Years in the NBA: 4

Years with the Clippers: 1

2012-2013 Salary: Minimum

Contract Status: Signed next season to an unguaranteed minimum contract.

In a Nutshell

Maalik Wayns and DaJuan Summers were late season additions to the Clippers roster, insurance policies taken out while the team suffered through some injuries. Wayns was added via a 10 day contract originally on March 8, while Eric Bledsoe was sidelined with a calf injury; by the time his second 10 day contract was up, Chauncey Billups was injured again, and given that Chris Paul had also missed a dozen games earlier in the year, the Clippers decided to keep Wayns around for the rest of the season. It proved unnecessary, and Wayns got a total of 37 garbage time minutes; he never suited up during the playoffs.

There's a similar story for Summers. Starting forward Caron Butler hurt his elbow in mid-March and was generally dinged up down the stretch, while Grant Hill at age 40 was an ongoing injury risk that the team didn't want to push too hard in practice. Summers was signed to a 10 day contract March 15 more or less so that the Clippers could have two healthy small forwards in practice -- he eventually signed for the remainder of the season. Summers got even less burn than Wayns -- he played seven minutes as a Clipper, making one shot.

Strengths

We don't much know about the strengths of these players; we just don't have enough to go on. Wayns, a rookie free agent out of Villanova, was actually in the rotation in Philadelphia at the start of the season. But the Sixers always seem to find room on their roster for some borderline NBA players from Philly (think Lavoy Allen), so I didn't think much of it. He had a 10 point game and a nine assist game as a Sixer, but they waived him in January. He seems quick and he seems confident -- he certainly wasn't afraid to shoot in the end of game minutes he got.

Summers has more overall NBA experience than Wayns, if a lot less experience this season. Originally a second round draft pick of the Pistons in 2009, the Georgetown product appeared 44 games in Detroit as a rookie. He played less his second season, signed with New Orleans his third season, and failed to make an NBA roster this year until the Clippers called him up from the D-League. He's got good size for a small forward, a good NBA body, rebounds well from the three spot and hit the three ball pretty well in the D-League this year. But let's face it, we know nothing about him based on seven minutes this season.

Weaknesses

These are fringe NBA players -- if they can help an NBA roster, it will be through hard work and hustle. These are not major talents.

Future with the Clippers

Both Wayns and Summers, as I understand it, have non-guaranteed contracts for next season. Basically, that means that the Clippers will have first right of refusal on them. They'll be in training camp, but they won't have any inherent advantage in making the team over your standard rookie free agent on a make-good contract. They'll have to earn a roster spot for next season in camp.

The Clippers like to carry 14 contracts into opening day, and this season 13 of those were players who saw significant time during the season. As of now there are seven guaranteed contracts on the roster and a re-signed Chris Paul takes an eighth spot. Depending on what happens with an Eric Bledsoe trade or Hill's potential retirement, the Clippers probably have about seven available roster spots, give or take. The front office no doubt is hoping to upgrade over the likes of Wayns and Summers between now and October. But with the luxury tax threshold looming, it's a given that the final few roster spots will go to players making the minimum and it remains to be seen if the Clippers can fill those spots with better options on a tight budget. My best guess right now would be that Wayns and Summers, like Travis Leslie last year, become the final cuts in training camp.

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