The Clippers took North Carolina small forward Reggie Bullock with the 25th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but was Bullock the best player available?
Most likely, yes. Bullock is a great shooter and an above-average defender. That’s a nice combination and Clipper fans could end up embracing him quite quickly. In fact, Kevin Pelton’s WARP projections rank Bullock No. 21 out of all the draftees. But the Clips did pass on some other players that they were speculatively considering. Here’s a quick look at some of those players and how they compare to Bullock:
- Allen Crabbe, SG (Drafted 31st overall by Cleveland)
The Clippers clearly prioritized shooting with their first-round pick and that’s how they ended up landing on Bullock. So if we can assume shooting to be a priority, that means the Clips probably looked at Crabbe at some point. Even though the former Cal guard didn’t work out for L.A. (he had to pull out of his workout because of an injury), he is a 2 guard that fits the mold of their team well. He is a strong spot-up shooter that comes off screens well. That said, he was not as consistent a shooter as Bullock was this past season and doesn’t nearly have the defensive ability of Bullock.
- Jamaal Franklin, SG (Drafted 41st overall by Memphis)
Franklin is a different type of shooting guard than Crabbe or Bullock. While those guys are shooters on the offensive end, Franklin is more of a slasher. He is good when he gets a head of steam going to the rim, but he doesn’t knock down his outside shots. Even though he might be the best defender of the Crabbe-Franklin-Bullock threesome, his shooting – or lack of shooting – might have been the deal breaker for the Clippers.
- Rudy Gobert, C (Drafted 27th overall by Denver)
Gobert is a French center of freakish body proportions. His 7-foot-9 wingspan and 9-foot-7 standing reach are both historic and palindromic, but the lanky, 7-foot-2 big is still raw and will take a few years to develop. Gobert looked like a more realistic pick when Kevin Garnett was potentially on the way. Now that KG looks like he’ll be hanging out with hipsters in Brooklyn, picking a young center wouldn’t make much sense.
- Ricky Ledo, PG/SG (Drafted 43rd overall by Milwaukee)
Ledo sat out this past season, his freshman year at Providence, because of eligibility issues, but he was one of the top rated recruits in the class of 2012 when he came out of high school. Reports said that he impressed during workouts, but who knows how true those reports were after he fell all the way to the second round Thursday night? He’s got great size for a point guard and is pretty quick, but he’s a total wild card, someone who is much less safe of a pick than Bullock. That wild-card reputation probably explains why no one took him in the first round, when contracts have to be guaranteed.