September 12th: Tyrone Wallace Contract Partial Guarantee:
There’s not much to this bit. Tyrone Wallace’s contract is for two years at the minimum, (just over $2.9 million total), yet is completely unguaranteed at the moment. On September 12th, the first year will be guaranteed for $300,000, which is still pretty small change. The Clippers just re-signed him, so I doubt he gets cut before then. Wallace’s first year will not be fully guaranteed until January, for what it’s worth.
September 24th/25th: Media Day/Start of Training Camp
Media Day is usually pretty uneventful. It’s great to see the guys together in uniform, and to catch up on their summers, but big news is rarely dropped. While this is often a date that everyone is super excited for, all the hype usually dies down immediately, and longing for the preseason (and then regular season) takes its place. Still, this is when NBA news starts picking up again, even if it’s for stuff as silly as a player changing their diet over the summer. This is also the official start of training camp, so word about who’s looking good – or not – soon follows.
September 30th: First Preseason Game
Just like last year, the Clippers will have their first preseason game in Hawaii. The first couple preseason games are always super exciting: this will be the first official Clippers game in five and a half months, and the team is quite a bit different than it was in April. Most excitingly, this will be the debut for the Clippers’ first lottery draft picks since 2010, and Clippers’ fans will finally have the chance to see Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson square off against NBA competition. Preseason games don’t count for anything, and most players don’t give full effort, but it will be nice to see the Clips on TV once more.
October 3rd: First Game at Staples Center
This date is pretty simple: it is the first chance for most Clippers fans to see the new team in person. It is just preseason, but honestly, preseason games have an exciting buzz, as fans are excited to see NBA basketball again. This should also be a fun game, as the Clippers take on the Timberwolves, and there’s every chance that Tom Thibodeau plays Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns at least 30 minutes. If you don’t live in Hawaii and really can’t wait to see the Clippers in action, this is the game for you.
October 15th: Rosters Set for Opening Day
The Clippers currently have 17 players with NBA contracts on their roster (16 guaranteed, with Pat Beverley as the other), and need to be down to 15 by this date. Simple math shows that two players on the Clippers’ roster will therefore need to be cut or traded before this. It’s possible the Clippers take their decisions down to the wire, but I suspect at least one of the players will be traded a fair bit before the cutoff (which is at precisely PM ET). Right now, the obvious eliminations would be two guards, though obviously things could change over the next month (whether due to injury or a bigger trade). This is a big date to circle, especially if the Clippers haven’t made any roster moves going into the preseason.
October 17th: Opening Night
While every other date on here is important, this is when the Clippers’ season starts for real.