In an unsurprising, yet still disappointing, bit of news, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Thursday that Jason Preston had surgery on his right foot and is expected to miss “a significant part” of the 2021-22 season. The Clippers confirmed the surgery to repair ligaments in Preston’s right foot, and added that he will miss “an extended period of time” in the team’s release.
Clippers rookie point guard Jason Preston had right foot surgery in Los Angeles today and is expected to miss a significant part of the season, sources tell ESPN. Preston was the 33rd pick in the July NBA Draft out of Ohio University.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2021
Lawrence Frank broke the news of Preston’s injury before training camp, but didn’t have a timetable for Preston other than him being unavailable to play during the team’s week in San Diego. The Clippers rookie, who was selected with the 33rd pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has been on a scooter for the entirety of preseason and watched the team’s first two exhibition games with a boot on his right foot.
Preston is on a guaranteed contract for this season and the next. With Kawhi Leonard also sitting out for the foreseeable future, that leaves the Clippers with at most 13 healthy players under contract, plus their two-ways.
Frank had hinted that Preston could be out for awhile during his preseason media availability, so this news isn’t a shock. However, it does throw cold water on what had been a promising summer for Preston, who impressed at Summer League and in voluntary workouts since. In addition to missing the bulk of the NBA season, Preston will also be unable to play in the Showcase Cup, an inaugural 14-team tournament in the G League.
The rookie has nonetheless been a regular attendee at practice. At the team’s shootaround before the Kings game Wednesday, Ivica Zubac said, “Jason is always on the sideline, watching the practices, and just doing everything the team does except being on the floor with us, so he’s pretty involved and he’s asking a lot of questions and he’s ready to learn.”
Unfortunately, the results of Preston’s learning process won’t be visible on the court until later on in 2022.