Nearly a week after being released by the Erie BayHawks, point guard Cliff Clinkscales was picked out of the D-League player pool by the Rio Grande Vipers on Monday.
Wasn’t surprised by this at all.
The Rio Grande Vipers picked up point guard Cliff Clinkscales nearly a week after the Erie BayHawks released him to bring back shooting guard Oliver Lafayette, who had been out since Feb. 11 with a broken left hand.
The Erie BayHawks released Clinkscales Tuesday and the Vipers gobbled up the 6-foot 1-inch, 165-pound rookie from DePaul out of the player pool Monday.
The irony of all this is the Cleveland Cavaliers were an NBA affiliate of the Vipers last season. This season, the Cavaliers are one of Erie’s two NBA affiliates.
The Vipers are mathematically in playoff contention, but with a 19-25 record, the odds are against them to make it. Then again, they are just four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot Albuquerque currently holds with six games remaining.
Clinkscales will certainly help the Vipers make that final playoff push. Now he’s not a good 3-pointer shooter (21.4 percent from behind the arc), but he can make clutch shots.
However, his strength is breaking down defenses off the dribble, protecting the ball, running an offense and finding the open man. Clinkscales leads in the D-League in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.02-to-1).
His first game for the Vipers will be Wednesday at Utah.
One thing is for sure. The weather is much warmer in McAllen, Texas than Erie.