For health reasons, the Clippers are looking for some depth at center. Serge Ibaka started nearly every game he played, but he is coming off back surgery to fix the issues that kept him out half of last season (his return date is unknown). Ivica Zubac is next on the depth chart, but he missed time with a sprained MCL last season. Marcus Morris can play some small-ball center, but he is not getting the bulk of the minutes at the five.
The Clippers are clearly thinking about insurance behind that trio, having already invited Harry Giles to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal. Now add Isaiah Hartenstein to the mix, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent C Isaiah Hartenstein has agreed to a training camp deal with the Clippers, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 12, 2021
The Clippers have 14 guaranteed contracts on the roster, leaving one spot open, plus they still have one two-way contract available. Hartenstein will have a chance to earn one of those spots.
Hartenstein showed promise after being traded to the Cavaliers from Denver at the deadline last season, averaging 8.3 points and 6 rebounds a game, plus 1.2 blocks a night in 16 games in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are stacked at center, so Hartenstein turned down a $1.7 million player option and the Cavaliers didn’t offer a qualifying offer. As a free agent, Hartenstein had a lot of nibbles but no bites.
Play like he did in Cleveland in the Clippers camp and he could find a spot on the Los Angeles roster.