With the 25th Pick in the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select………
The NBA Draft is usually the time of year the Clippers are in the spotlight, thanks to having a high draft pick but that culture is over. 4 years ago the Clippers finally got it right in the draft and selected Blake Griffin first overall. The Clippers finished with a tie for the 5th best record in the league but won the coinflip with the Memphis Grizzlies giving them the 25th pick this year. This draft class has been classified as one of the worst ever because there are no franchise changers in this crop. With the 25th pick you aren’t going to be getting an All-Star in most cases. This draft might not be stocked at the top but there are good players that can be selected at the end of the first. In the Clippers case they hope to get a rotation guy who might blossom into a starter. The Clippers didn’t include this pick in the Doc Rivers trade and have been working out players that seem to be a good fit. The Doc Rivers deal makes the Clippers window now and will be likely drafting a NBA ready player. The team has a need on the wing especially at the 2 and will look for a potential backup big. There seems to be some potential free agents big men and most 4s & 5s are projects so I expect the Clippers to go with a wing.
Here are the potential players the Clippers will target if they stay with the 25th pick:
Allen Crabbe California | SG | 6-6 | 197
Crabbe is an excellent scorer, led the Pac-12 in scoring and was named player of the year. His defense needs some work but he has the body and length for it.
Gorgui Dieng Louisville | C | 6-11 | 230
Dieng will be one of the few bigs the Clippers will consider. Dieng is NBA ready and has potential to be a great rim protector. He is long, a great rebounder and a surprisingly good passer for his size. He doesn’t have much on the scoring side but that can be taught. Knee injuries are a concern.
Jamaal Franklin San Diego St. | SG | 6-5 | 191
Franklin is the best case scenario for the Clippers. If Franklin is on the board at 25, the Clippers will submit their pick in no time. The comparison for Franklin is former Aztec Kawhi Leonard. Franklin led his team in points, assists, rebounds, and steals. Franklin is a great defender, he just needs to improve his jumper but Kawhi has.
Tim Hardaway Jr. Michigan | SG | 6-6 | 199
Hardaway Jr. is one of the most NBA ready prospects and would fit nice with the Clippers. He is a Doc Rivers type player and has good size and athletic ability. There isn’t much upside for him but is great value late in the first round.
Ricardo Ledo Providence | SG | 6-6 | 197
Ledo is a wild card. Ledo is talented enough to be drafted in the lottery but comes with baggage. Ledo missed the entire year for academic issues which is hurting his stock. He is one of the best shooters in the draft and would fit perfect with the Clips if he can fix the off court issues.
Glen Rice Jr. NBDL | SF | 6-6 | 211
Rice Jr. is coming from the D-League where he dominated. He is a great athlete and good shooter and would fit in nice with the team. Maturity is an issue though, he was dismissed from Georgia Tech for disciplinary reasons.