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Clippers In Review: Jay Scrubb still has lots to prove

Injuries plagued the sophomore’s season. As a result, Jay Scrubb still has a lot to prove to both the team and himself.

Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Welcome to Clippers In Review, where we’ll be recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Los Angeles.

In January, my former boss at Clips Nation, Sabreena Merchant, referred to Jay Scrubb as a “mystery box.” Four months later, he still remains a mystifying box yet to be opened.

Scrubb, the 55th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, was limited to just four games played in his rookie season due to a left foot injury. While this meant he had limited opportunity to work his way into Tyronn Lue’s rotation, it also meant his sophomore year was that much more important.

The 21-year-old, however, didn’t quite meet the expectations. In his 18 games this season, he averaged merely 2.7 points, 0.4 assists, and 0.9 rebounds. Admittedly, he played less than seven minutes per game and took less than three shots per game. However, these numbers aren’t gonna cut it for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Breaking his game down, Scrubb is a scorer. He is a competent ball-handler who is able to blow by defenders for looks inside the paint. That doesn’t mean he’s not a threat from behind the arc: Scrubb has a smooth shooting stroke and, at times, uses his dribble to create shots from long range. In his 10 games with the Agua Caliente Clippers, he averaged an impressive 19.8 points on 46.4 percent shooting from the field.

More importantly, Scrubb can score in bulk. When he finds his rhythm from deep, he doesn’t hesitate to shoot over players and uses his smooth step-back to drain tough shots. His athleticism also helps him breeze through defenders and finish with emphatic slams.

Yet a big question mark to Scrubb’s game still remains: his playmaking.

In his brief G League stint, his biggest downside was his inability to find open players and utilize his dribble to put and find his teammates in scoring positions — he dished out just 2.3 dimes per game. His 2021-22 campaign came to a close due to a turf toe injury; Scrubb is subject to return next season.

With tons of scoring options — the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell — already equipped for the Clippers, it seems redundant to use a shoot-first guard who will take away from the team’s playmaking and defense. Regardless, he’s still a promising prodigy that might grow into bigger roles in the future, the same way Terance Mann and Amir Coffey did.

Scrubb will most likely return in Clipper colors with the team set to give him a qualifying offer of about $1.5 million. What remains less likely is his playing time. If Scrubb isn’t able to develop into a more complete guard in the next year, his future with the 213 is up in the air.