It’s not easy being a Clippers fan, but it sure just got a little easier, didn’t it? Despite having only a 17.7% chance of selecting first, the Clippers will do just that on June 25th. You could call what took place tonight extremely lucky, and you’d be completely right in your assessment, but I prefer to see it as some sort of karmic reward for the endured suffering over the years. Enjoy this, Clippers fans. You deserve it.
Who do the Clippers take with that first pick? The obvious answer is Blake Griffin. Just look at the numbers Griffin put up at OU. Just about every scout on the planet is adamant that Griffin should go first. Every major website and talking head has Griffin at the top of their big board. Selecting Griffin with the first pick appears to be as unanimous of a decision as it possibly could be. All signs, as they should, point to Blake Griffin.
But let’s play with a few scenarios here. What if Blake Griffin measures shorter than his listed 6′ 10”? Sure, if he loses an inch, it’s not a big deal. But what about two inches? Three inches? Four inches? This isn’t improbable. Check out Michael Beasley’s college profile. He was listed as 6′ 10”. His actual measurement before the draft? 6′ 7”. Is Blake Griffin as much of a sure thing at pick one if he’s actually 6’6 or 6’7? This is all speculation of course, and there has already been plenty of talk that Griffin’s height should not be a concern.
However it’s not completely unlikely that the Clippers get bowled over with a trade offer for the first pick. Or maybe another franchise wants to take Baron Davis and his lengthy contract off the Clippers’ hands. If Mike Taylor were slated to start at point guard, wouldn’t Rubio become a more logical fit? While Blake Griffin becoming a Clipper may seem like a lock, it’s entirely possible that the team’s personnel makeup and general situation change dramatically before the draft.
If management does stay put with the pick and makes no additional player moves, Griffin will almost definitely be the selection. Griffin has elicited a lot of comparisons to Carlos Boozer and Karl Malone, but in my opinion he most closely resembles Amare Stoudamire. Griffin doesn’t have the touch Boozer has, but he does have the raw scoring ability around the basket that Amare also possesses. Griffin has already shown that he has a ton of moves around the basket, and he’ll fit in gloriously with Dunleavy’s post heavy offensive schemes. It’s a beautiful thing to imagine the two man game Gordon and Griffin could play with each other. Double down on Griffin, and Gordon will kill you from outside. Don’t double Griffin, and he’s scoring or getting fouled in single coverage every time. With Griffin, the Clippers offense will finally force teams to pick their poison defensively, and it’s tough to see any team being able to athletically match the combo of Gordon and Griffin. The supporting cast for the two 20 year old studs doesn’t mesh very well, but to quote Herm Edwards, “We can build on this!”
Blake Griffin, and the scenarios around the first pick will be discussed heavily in the 36 days leading up to the draft. For now though, salivate over some of his highlights, try not to celebrate with too many adult beverages, and take joy in the fact that the future suddenly looks much brighter.