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Clippers Transfer Johnathan Motley from G-League to NBA Roster

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The Clippers have called up two-way big man Johnathan Motley to their regular roster.

Memphis Hustle v Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers just stated (via their PR account) that they are transferring two-way big man Johnathan Motley from Agua Caliente to the NBA roster ahead of tonight’s game against the Raptors.

On one hand, this could mean very little: NBA players call up and send down two-way players all the time to maximize their practice opportunities and potential playing time. On the other, the Clippers bringing up Motley could be a sign that JaMychal Green will miss tonight’s game against the Raptors - and perhaps even more. The Clippers were ridiculously small against the Pacers on Monday (albeit without Kawhi Leonard), as Doc Rivers turned to four guard lineups (with Pat Beverley at power forward) rather than play rookie Mfiondu Kabengele. Such lineups are, of course, not sustainable, and Motley’s ability to play the 4 or the 5 will prevent those situations from being forced on Doc again.

Of course, even with Motley with the LA Clippers, it’s possible he doesn’t play. He’s only appeared in two games this season for a grand total of four minutes, and is clearly quite far down on the Clippers’ totem pole. His inability to truly defend any position is a liability, as he’s too slow on the perimeter and not strong enough in the paint. He also, like Kabengele, has the tendency to shoot almost as soon as he catches the ball, which is not great from a player who should be one of the last options on a Clippers lineup. Still, he does bring size, energy, and the ability to score at a high rate in the paint, and those are all things this beaten up Clippers squad could use.

Hopefully this is just the Clippers seizing on the opportunity to bring Motley up temporarily, and not an indicator of Green missing an extended period of time. JaMychal has been huge for the Clippers all season, and it would be difficult to lose him for more than a few games. In the meantime, we will see if Mot can help fill the gap.