During Thursday night’s 2021 NBA Draft, the LA Clippers acquired Ohio University guard Jason Preston by sending a future second-round pick and cash to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the no. 33 selection.
Preston, a 21-year-old junior guard, is listed at 6’4, 187 pounds. He posted averages of 15.7 points, 7.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds during his final season as a Bobcat, shooting 51.4% from the field, 39% from three (on 4.1 attempts per game) and 59.6% from the free throw line. His team fell to the Creighton Bluejays in the second round of the NCAA Tournament back in March.
The Ringer’s 2021 NBA Draft Guide describes Preston as a “Cerebral point guard who runs the offense with a veteran’s savvy, though he must progress as an athlete.” The guide compared Preston to current NBA guards Malcolm Brogdon, Lonzo Ball and Ty Jerome.
Growing up in Orlando, Florida, Preston idolized former All-Defensive wing Tayshaun Prince (his mother was a big Detroit Pistons fan). He dreamed of becoming an NBA reporter if his goal of becoming a player didn’t pan out.
Preston will join Tennessee Guard Keon Johnson as the other half of a rookie backcourt for LA. The Clippers selected Johnson with the no. 21 pick after trading up four spots by sending a future second-round pick to the New York Knicks.
LA will now turn to the task of free agency, during which they’ll aim to retain star Kawhi Leonard and potentially re-sign veteran role players Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum. Free agency begins on Monday, Aug. 2 at 3 p.m.