D.J. Newbill To Play For Los Angeles Clippers In NBA Summer League
After the former Penn State star didn’t hear his name called in either of the two rounds of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, D.J. Newbill was left waiting for an NBA team to come calling for his services. Newbill worked out with a number of teams before the draft, including the Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, and many others. One team in particular, the Los Angeles Clippers, was impressed enough to sign Newbill to their Summer League roster, giving the Nittany Lion great his first opportunity in the NBA.
This journey to the NBA has been a long one for the Penn State alum as he left high school committed to Marquette, only to have his letter of intent declined by then-coach Buzz Williams. He was forced to transfer to Southern Mississippi for his freshman year, still looking for a place to play. From there, he found Happy Valley, the place he would eventually transfer to and call home for the next four years.
Newbill would become one of the most captivating players Penn State has ever seen play on the court, reaching third on Penn State’s all-time scoring list after eclipsing 2000 points back in March. After arriving to Penn State, he joined forces with current Portland Trailblazer Tim Frazier, forming a formidable backcourt duo. If Newbill ends up on the Clippers’ final roster this season, Penn State fans could potentially see the once-dynamic duo face-off during the regular season — or even a Western Conference semifinal showdown.
Newbill’s illustrious Penn State career ended with a deep run in the Big Ten tournament, where the Lions would eventually fall to the Purdue Boilermakers in the quarterfinals. He finished as one of the best to ever don the Blue and White on the hardwood, and now, Newbill is now set to live his dream of playing in the NBA with a team in need of his services.
The Clippers are a team that have come into their own after being overshadowed by the franchise that they share the same building with: The Los Angeles Lakers. Since the Clippers stocked up on homegrown stars such as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan through the draft, along with free agents like Chris Paul, the Clippers have become the marquee Los Angeles franchise.
This Clippers team is a team that could look a lot different after the offseason, as there are talks that DeAndre Jordan could walk, along with a possible Doc Rivers-Paul Pierce reunion. No matter what the team looks like come October, Newbill is a decent fit. The Clippers are a team that has recently acquired Lance Stephenson from Charlotte to shore up the team’s backcourt. They also employ sharpshooters J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford on the roster, meaning there could be clutter at the guard position if no moves are made.
Newbill could be the youthful spark that the Clippers are searching for at shooting guard. Lance Stephenson showed that he could not live up to the expectations set for him in Charlotte after laying bricks game after game, so if history repeats itself in Los Angeles, there’s a chance Newbill could see himself worked into the guard rotation — given that he makes the final roster.
The former Penn State standout has an opportunity to prove his worth in the Summer League, and if all goes as planned, we’ll have yet another Nittany Lion playing in the Association.