Welcome to Clippers In Review, where we’ll be recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Los Angeles. Now, we’ll be reviewing two-way player Xavier Moon, a newly-acquired G-League standout.
Of all players on the Clippers’ roster, Xavier Moon might be the least known to the average NBA fan. After all, Moon only played in 10 games this season, with much of his basketball action taking place with the Agua Caliente Clippers. His NBA stats might turn away even more observers, looking at his 5.8 point scoring average and 2.4 assists at just face value without looking further.
However, his NBA averages don’t do him justice. In the G-League, his averages of 18.7 points and seven assists look a lot better for a 6’2” (if that) point guard weighing in at just 165 pounds. The Agua Caliente Clippers also held one of the top records for the 2021-22 G-League standings, showing how he is capable of leading his squad to relative success. Above all that, Moon passes the eye test. Compilation videos like this recent one highlight his diverse offensive arsenal, which ranges from aggressive drives to the hoop with silky-smooth finishes, to stepback three-pointers in the clutch, or even to big-time defensive stops at the rim that no 6’2” guard would dare to attempt. His mid-range jumpshot might be the most attractive part of his game—it’s clear that he’s comfortable taking those shots, and his mechanics seem to work well, which is reflected in his over-87 percent clip from the free throw line.
Moon’s play as he was under several 10-day contracts was enough to convince the Clippers that he deserved a two-way contract, filling in the shoes of Amir Coffey, a prime example of how a G-League player on a two-way contract can make it in the NBA. While it’s nice for Moon to officially be on the roster, it still might be difficult for him to get consistent minutes. Reggie Jackson’s starting spot is set, and Jason Preston has been anxiously waiting to make his professional debut after suffering an early-season injury that required surgery. If Preston isn’t ready yet to fill the backup point guard spot, it’s likely that Terance Mann and Norman Powell fill in instead. Moon can only be ready to jump in when bad play and injuries temporarily sideline key players, but for a team with championship aspirations, Moon might have an opportunity that few G-League alumni are able to experience.