Weight: 245 lbs
Age: 23 (turns 24 in November)
NBA experience: rookie (played at Seton Hall for four seasons)
Key stats: averaged 12.1 points and 11.0 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game in college
Contract status: signed a two-way contract with the Clippers on July 5
To put it plainly, not much; at least not for the LA Clippers.
Ángel Delgado went undrafted after a four-year career at Seton Hall, but ended up with a pretty decent fallback by signing a two-way deal. He will likely start for the Agua Caliente Clippers alongside fellow two-way player Johnathan Motley, though much of the G League roster is not yet filled out.
Delgado was a productive big man for the Pirates in one of college basketball’s better conferences, the Big East. He was the conference’s rookie of the year when he averaged 9.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest as a freshman. Delgado started all but two games his freshman year and started every game for the rest of his collegiate career. He went on to earn first team All-Big East as a junior, and then won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for the nation’s top center as a senior.
Delgado also has some national team experience for the Dominican Republic. He played at the FIBA AmeriCup last summer, which the USA won under head coach Jeff Van Gundy and mostly G League players. That experience was likely a closer approximation of the professional game than Delgado’s time at Seton Hall.
Although he is allowed 45 days of service time with the LA Clippers, Delgado probably won’t come close to reaching that total. As a center, his path to playing time is blocked by Marcin Gortat, Montrezl Harrell, and Boban Marjanovic. Even Danilo Gallinari and Mike Scott would be more likely to play at smallball center than the rookie. If the Clippers were more intent on pursuing a rebuilding path, there might be minutes for a player like Delgado. As it stands, their desire to use this campaign to make the playoffs and ideally impress free agents in the summer of 2019 makes winning the greater priority.
That isn’t to say that Delgado isn’t capable of eventually producing on an NBA roster. He was the anchor in the middle for Seton Hall and helped lead the Pirates alongside Desi Rodriguez, another Clippers’ training camp invite. Seton Hall made the NCAA Tournament three years in a row (2016-2018) after a 10-year drought, even winning one game in this year’s tournament. Delgado was a near-automatic double-double throughout his college career and continued to improve his game as he got older. He raised his free-throw percentage each year and also added more assists and steals each season.
In his lone preseason action, Delgado continued to show the effort level he demonstrated in NBA Summer League. He finished two feeds from Rodriguez and Jawun Evans cleanly around the rim, drawing an and-one on the second basket. He ran the floor well and didn’t foul, which was a rarity for the Clippers on Wednesday.
The opportunity is not currently available for Delgado to make an impact in the NBA. But he will have every chance to showcase his abilities for the Agua Caliente Clippers, and there’s no reason he can’t be one of the better big men in the G League in the upcoming season.