When the Los Angeles Clippers come down to Hawaiʻi later this fall for another preseason camp, fans will not see the same roster they saw a year ago.
If you expect to see superstar forward Blake Griffin, then you’re out of luck because he was traded to the Detroit Pistons back in February. Willie Reed, Brice Johnson and a second-round pick were also traded for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanović and a 2018 first-round pick.
Guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson were selected in June's NBA draft.
Austin Rivers, head coach Doc Rivers' son, was also traded to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat.
After that, center DeAndre Jordan decided not to opt into the final year of his contract and became a free agent. Jordan will sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a one-year deal that is close to $24 million after the NBA's moratorium period ends July 6. If he stayed with the Clippers, he was set to make $24.1 million next season.
With current free agent deals still roaming around, there were speculations that current San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard could join the Clippers. Leonard reportedly expressed interest in going to L.A. It was likely that Leonard would have gone to the Lakers, but he isn't too keen on being on the same team as LeBron James. Other reports say that Clippers are "less appealing," to Leonard. It is unknown if the Spurs will trade Leonard to another team, or not trade him at all.
Returning to Hawai’i
Leading the Clippers during its 2017-18 season was Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams who averaged 22.6 points per game. Williams also led the team with assists per game at 5.3. Behind him is Tobias Harris who averaged 18.6 ppg and Danilo Gallinari with 15.3 ppg. Gallinari is the free throw leader with a 93.1 percent average. All three are still on the roster.
6TH MAN LIKE LOU WILL. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/p3dgqXwVoH— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 26, 2018
The Clippers will return to the Hawai’i for its second annual preseason camp from Sept. 24 to 30.
Last month, the Clippers and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) announced that the team will play the Sydney Kings of Australia's National Basketball League for the "Clippers Hawai’i Classic" on Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m at Stan Sheriff Center.
Gillian Zucker, the L.A. Clippers' President of Business Operations said that the team had a "fantastic experience," last year and is looking forward to returning again in the fall.
But after last year's issue with security and long lines that delayed entry into the first game of the Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors, Ka Leo asked Twitter followers through a poll if they would attend this year's game.
The L.A. Clippers are coming back to town! Will you go and watch the Clippers Hawaii Classic on Sept. 30 at Stan Sheriff Center? Reply back to be featured in Ka Leo! #UseYourVoice— Ka Leo Sports (@KaLeoSports) July 4, 2018
But the difference this year, is that there is only one game instead of two.
The Sydney Kings feature star recruit and seven-foot center Andrew Bogut, who played 13 seasons in the NBA. Bogut is among eight Australian players on the 2017-18 opening night NBA rosters that have shown talent, including NBA Rookie of Year, Ben Simmons, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum.
“The Hawaiian Islands are a favorite destination for travelers from Southern California and Australia, so this matchup against the Sydney Kings gives us an opportunity to expand our reach to potential travelers in two of our key source markets,” HTA president and CEO George D. Szigeti said in a release.
The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team also features its own set of Australian players with incoming recruit Owen Hulland (Adelaide), redshirt freshman Mate Colina (Melbourne) and senior-to-be Jack Purchase (Melbourne).
Ticket sales and more information will be announced later this summer.