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Clippings: The Clippers are making a big investment in Brandon Boston Jr.

They aren’t treating Boston like a normal 51st pick.

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Arkansas v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The final 10 picks or so of the NBA draft don’t usually yield a lot of value. Most players with any hope of landing on a roster try not to get picked so that they can choose their own team as an undrafted free agent, a process made more lucrative by the creation of two-way contracts. That makes it extremely rare to find a productive player that late in the second round.

The Clippers were unfazed by the long odds of the second round. Two years after selecting Terance Mann with the 48th overall pick, they believe they have found another diamond in the rough in Brandon Boston Jr. They are so convinced of Boston’s pro potential that they have given the 51st pick a three-year deal with two fully guaranteed seasons. Per Shams Charania, the third year is a player option. The Clippers created the cap space to sign Boston by giving Justise Winslow part of their taxpayer midlevel ($4 million, according to Law Murray of The Athletic), and saving some for Boston.

It isn’t unheard of for a second-round pick to get guaranteed money, and Mann is one such example. But the Clippers are giving Boston $2.5 million guaranteed, the most ever for a player of his draft slot who wasn’t a draft and stash, per Keith Smith. That is a strong show of faith in a player who did not exactly impress in his lone season at Kentucky.

Boston’s contract becomes even more impressive when considering the state of the Clippers roster.

The team has 13 returning players from last year’s team under contract, including Yogi Ferrell’s deal, which is nonguaranteed. Jay Scrubb is still on a two-way contract, and Amir Coffey is an unrestricted free agent. The Clippers then drafted three players and signed Justise Winslow. That leaves 19 players competing for 17 roster spots before even accounting for DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson.

The Clippers have officially signed Johnson, Boston, and Winslow, bringing their total of guaranteed contracts to 15. The easiest solution is to waive Ferrell, but that leaves only a two-way slot for Jason Preston, who was drafted ahead of Boston. Perhaps the Clippers waive another player as well — Daniel Oturu better show out in Summer League — or a consolidation trade is on the horizon to clear a roster spot for the 33rd pick.

No matter what path the Clippers choose, they have some difficult decisions to make. And that means an offseason that has been relatively inactive will have to pick up the pace.

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