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Clippers vs. Grizzlies Summer League preview: One last ride in the desert

This is the final game of Clippers basketball until the preseason.

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Utah Jazz v LA Clippers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers and Grizzlies reportedly agreed to a trade Sunday that will send Patrick Beverley, Daniel Oturu, and Rajon Rondo to Memphis for Eric Bledsoe, and now the two teams will face off against each other Monday.

Well, kind of.

The trade hasn’t been officially announced by either team yet, so no players are switching sides until the deal is legally complete. That puts Daniel Oturu in a strange situation as the lone Summer League player on either team involved in the transaction. The Clippers would want to sit Oturu out in anticipation of the trade. However, though the game itself has no stakes — it’s a consolation matchup, so win or lose, both teams go home — Oturu still has something to play for.

Memphis will have 17 players on guaranteed contracts once this trade goes through, so Oturu is still fighting for a roster spot, albeit on a different team. If the Grizzlies decide to cut him, this is one of his last chances to show out for another team before training camp.

Game Information

When: Monday, August 16, 6 p.m. PT

Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV

How to watch/listen: ESPN 3

Opposing Perspective: Grizzly Bear Blues

The Oturu wrinkle might make it difficult to focus on the game at hand, which is a shame, because the Clippers are finally starting to round into form after a week in Las Vegas. Jason Preston and Jeremy Castleberry are on the same page about how to get the point guard the ball and what Preston needs to do to get the offense going. Preston had 16 points and five assists in the win over Utah, his best performance in a Clipper uniform to date, and it was complemented by strong showings from the other members of the 2021 draft class, Keon Johnson and Brandon Boston Jr.

While the Clippers have resolved their roster crunch, the Grizzlies have created one, something that could be reflected in the play of their Summer League participants tonight. Sam Merrill and John Konchar, among others, need to demonstrate their value, which could make this contest far more compelling than the moniker “consolation game” would suggest.

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