The Los Angeles Clippers added Jameel Warney, a former Stony Brook Men’s Basketball player, to its Las Vegas Summer League roster on Wednesday. Warney is a few days removed from finishing his second consecutive Orlando Summer League stint with the Dallas Mavericks.
“My plan was just to go home after Orlando and just do nothing and keep on training,” Warney said. “I’m happy I have another opportunity to play in front of the scouts, and hopefully I can continue to try and accomplish my dream.”
While the move to play for the Clippers Summer League team is a welcomed sign for Warney, it does not guarantee that he will earn a roster spot with the Los Angeles Clippers in October. Warney can play both the power forward and center positions but plays more center while he works to improve his mid-range jumper. DeAndre Jordan is currently the Clippers’ only center on the team’s active roster. Nerlens Noel –barring the Mavericks retain the restricted free agent – Salah Mejri and A.J. Hammons are the three centers on Dallas’ current roster.
Warney averaged 12 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game on 65 percent shooting from the field over the course of four games with Dallas in the Orlando Summer League this past week. Additionally, Warney’s 34.7 player efficiency rating is currently the best in the Summer League.
“Not a lot of people knew who I was. I now have a year under my belt in the G-League, played well,” Warney said. “I have more exposure than I did last year, and people are realizing who I am.”
Bob MacKinnon, an assistant coach on the Dallas Mavericks Orlando Summer League team, has watched Warney’s growth throughout nearly every step of his professional career. He was also the head coach of the Texas Legends in the G-League, where Warney played during the 2016-2017 season.
“He makes winning plays. It is never about himself, and it is always about what he can do to help the team win,” MacKinnon said. “My belief is if he can find that team to pull the trigger, he is going to end up having a 10-12 year career and be very successful in the NBA.”
MacKinnon held voluntary second practices late in the day after each practice when coaching the Legends. Warney was present at each of them.
“I’m a great locker room guy, and I can make the best players on that team work every day in practice,” Warney said. “I am a great offensive rebounder and a great defender. Just trying to find a way to get things done.”
While he is confident that he can help an NBA team this upcoming season, Warney does not invite his agent to keep him up to date on teams’ interest in him. He chooses to keep his head clear and focuses on becoming a better player, despite MacKinnon confirming teams’ interest in him.
“Someone in the NBA is going to understand that while he may be undersized… he has a 7’2” wingspan and quick feet,” MacKinnon said. “You put that together with a tremendous work ethic and a tremendous heart, there has to be room on someone’s roster for this guy.”
Warney’s first game with the Clippers Summer League team will take place on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.