Thornwell released by Clippers

LOS ANGELES (WOLO) – After playing his first two pro seasons in Los Angeles, former Gamecock star Sindarius Thornwell was released by the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night.

Thornwell was one of two roster cuts, along with Ty Wallace. Thornwell was released before his $1.62 million cap hold for the 2019-20 season could impact the teams finances for the season. His rookie contract was a three year, $3.8 million dollar deal, but his 2019-20 amount was not guaranteed.

Drafted 48th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Thornwell was originally selected by the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded quickly to LA.

The 2017 SEC Player of the Year saw his minutes go down significantly in his second season compared to his first, affecting his stats as a whole. Sindarius played in 73 games as a rookie, starting 16, averaging 15.8 minutes, 3.9 points, and 1.9 rebounds. He capitalized on injuries to the 2017-18 Clippers roster to earn more time and stay there with his hustle and defense.

The Lancaster native’s opportunities to see the court diminished with depth added to the roster before and during his second campaign, dropping to 4.9 minutes a game, starting only once in 64 appearances. His scoring fell as result, averaging 1 point a night. Despite the limited playing time, Thornwell was checked in late into games mostly as a defensive stopper. He led the NBA in defensive rating (97.7) last year amongst all players who registered at least 50 games.

The Clippers roster changed dramatically in the early AM Saturday, acquiring a pair of All-Stars at a similar position. Los Angeles signed reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded for Oklahoma City All-Star Paul George. Additionally, the franchise acquired another swingman, Maurice Harkless.

Clippers teammate, starting point guard Patrick Beverly showed his support to Sindarius on Twitter Sunday night.

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