LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday night, the LA Clippers got a welcome performance from forward Jamil Wilson in a matchup against the Sacramento Kings. The rookie from Marquette scored 14 points in the first quarter, already surpassing his career-high for an entire NBA game at 13 points, set last Monday against the San Antonio Spurs. Wilson knocked down four of five three pointers in the opening period and shot five-of-six in total.
In the coming days, however, the Clippers have a decision to make when it comes to Wilson’s future with the team. Wilson is one of the two allotted two-way players on the Clippers’ roster alongside guard/forward C.J. Williams. The two-way deal allows Wilson and Williams to be brought back and forth from the Clippers to their G-league affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers, and spend a total of 45 days with the team. Following Tuesday’s game, Wilson has spent his 40th day with the Clippers while Williams spent his 34th.
With the injuries to both Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari, Wilson went from playing in the G-League to starting eight straight games in LA. After the game, head coach Doc Rivers acknowledged the tough decision that lies ahead with the days coming to a swift end.
“It’s going to be tough, like I said before,” said Rivers. “I won’t tell you our plans, but they’re not great. I can tell you that. They’re not great… That’s all I can tell you.”
What makes it ‘not great?’
“You’ll see,” responded Rivers. “We just don’t have a lot of good option there. we have to play them right now because we need them and they’re playing great. the fact that you could possibly lose them would hurt but that possibly could happen.”
Wilson admits that the process of not knowing what will happen, especially as the deadline grows near, has taken a bit of a toll on him. Luckily, his Clippers’ teammates have made him feel at home since Day 1.
“It does, not gonna lie to you,” said Wilson about the future making him nervous. “Some days I wake up and I’m just like ‘you don’t know whats going to happen.’ Sometimes I can be a little timid and that can put you in a funk, but then you just kind of embrace the moment. Being here, being around these guys, it’s a great feeling. They don’t let you feel sorry for yourself. It’s a little nerve wrecking, but at the same time we’ve still got a job to do.”
The Marquette alum took his talents to Germany early in his career, and the 27-year old is now an NBA starter on a team with a number of veterans competing for a playoff spot. How does he keep his head in the midst of all the madness?
“At the end of the day its still basketball,” says Wilson. “The ball is still orange the goal is still 10 feet so you try to use that to bring you back down to earth. been playing the game my whole time. These guys make really easy on me. They give me all the confidence in the world, and I couldn’t ask for more.”
In the last nine starts for the Clippers, Wilson is averaging 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, and 2.1 made three-pointers in 21.8 minutes of action on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 42.2 percent from beyond the arc. C.J. Williams, on the other hand, has averaged 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 25.2 minutes of action.
Both Wilson and Williams have done all they could possibly do in their short time with the Clippers, and as it stands right now, they can only finish their deals off strong and hope it’ll be enough to net a roster spot.