The Los Angeles Clippers have been fined $25,000 by the NBA for playing Brandon Boston Jr. and Moussa Diabate against the New Orleans Pelicans despite both being assigned to the G-League and therefore listed as unavailable before the game.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/M4tZFzDVaW— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) November 3, 2022
The league have classified it as a failure “to disclose an accurate game availability status” which they say violates their rules around injury reporting. Both Boston and Diabate checked in for the final 4 minutes and 31 seconds of the Clippers’ loss with the contest already beyond them, with the former hitting two threes.
Diabate is one of the players currently sitting on a two-way contract alongside Moses Brown, with one regular roster spot still open. The Frenchman and Boston being wrongly put into the game raises questions not only about the administrative failure that led to their inclusion, but also why the franchise are still yet to fill that final hole in the squad. Those questions have been reinforced further by the Clippers ranking dead last in the NBA for opponent’s offensive rebounds through the last five games, with an average of 13.8.
Though Brown had a big game in Wednesday night’s win over the Houston Rockets, his being on a two-way contract suggests that the front office dooesn’t believe he is ready to be getting big minutes right now. Ivica Zubac’s foul trouble in the game, coupled with the very real fear of injury to the Croatian and the failure of the small ball lineups so far, opens the organization up to that possibility.
With several veteran centers still available via free agency, this administrative error should serve as a reminder that the Clippers can still dip their toe into the market. A seven-footer that can keep tough teams like the Pelicans off the glass would make us all more confident going forward.