Thornwell released by Clippers

Thornwell released by Clippers
Charlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum (5) drives against LA Clippers' Sindarius Thornwell (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C.Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Source: Chuck Burton)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (TheBigSpur.com) - Former South Carolina basketball star Sindarius Thornwell is on the hunt for a new team. On Saturday, Thornwell was released by the Los Angeles Clippers, along with fellow guard Tyrone Wallace.

While the Clippers released two guards, they also brought in Maurice Harkless from the Portland Trail Blazers in another quick flurry of offseason moves.

Thornwell spent two seasons with the Clippers but his first was much better than his second. As a rookie, Thornwell averaged 15.8 minutes per game averaging 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds. He also averaged 0.9 assists and 0.7 steals per game in what was somewhat limited action off the bench.

ast year, Thornwell was rarely used. After starting 16 games as a rookie, he made only one start his second year with the franchise and played in 64 games. His time on the court dropped dramatically as he averaged only 4.9 minutes on the floor per game. His numbers dropped across the board, including down 8 percent in field goal percentage and nearly 18 percent in three-point percentage.

The Clippers have been very active in the free agency market agreeing to deals with NBA superstars Kawhi Leonard from Toronto and Paul George from Oklahoma City.

Even though Thornwell spent his rookie season with the Clippers, it wasn’t that franchise that drafted him. Thornwell was picked by the Milwaukee Bucks as the 48th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. His rights were traded on draft night by the Bucks to the Clippers.

Thornwell had his greatest successes at South Carolina his final season with the program. He led the Gamecocks to the Final Four, a feat some would argue as the greatest accomplishment in any sport in the school’s history. He averaged 21.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game his final year in a South Carolina uniform, while also chipping in 2.2 steals per game.

His final year on campus, Thornwell was named the SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-SEC selection.

According to ClipsNation.com, Thornwell was entering the final year of his three-year contract, which was to pay him $1,618,520 this season.

The site speculated that there was a chance Thornwell could be cut and brought back to save room against the salary cap writing, “His contract guarantees before free agency starts, so there is a chance that the Clippers cut him to get a tiny bit of extra cap space but then bring him back on a minimum deal regardless. I’d guess that he’ll be back in Los Angeles, if only because if the Clippers hit in free agency, they will have to renounce the cap holds to a lot of their existing players, and Thornwell is a cheap option to fill out the roster.”

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