Chad Ford has the Clips snagging Jerryd Bayless in his most recent Mock Draft.  From his post to [enter your deity here]'s ear. 

Personally, I'm having a hard time infusing too much intrigue into the Clippers' 2008 draft because I firmly believe that the Clippers will have an easy choice to make at #7 - whoever among Russell Westbrook or Eric Gordon remains on the board.  But if you're looking for a blue sky, we-just-have-a-feeling-about-that-guy kind of pick for the Clippers, you might want to look at Italian teenager Danilo Gallinari.

The pundits suggest that a Gallinari would appeal to Mike Dunleavy's affinity for "point forwards," but I can't recall any Dunleavy team truly running its offense though a big man.  If anything, Dunleavy's tenure with the Clippers is marked by rosters with a woeful lack of quality ballhandlers at the 2-through-5. 

Here's Jonathan Givony on Gallinari during the heart of the winter Euroleague season, when Gallinari was balling as well as anyone on The Continent:

It's becoming increasingly usual to see Danilo Gallinari producing almost at will regardless of who he goes up against. His skill repertoire, knowledge of the game and physical gifts propose a devastating equation that hardly anybody can consistently contest...

Gallinari is a well-known solid shooter. Indeed he made a living off his perimeter stroke during his first year of serious veteran competition (in the Italian second division). In this game, it was interesting to see him creating his own shot in a pure face-up one-on-one setting, using a fake and a dribble to release a successful long-range bomb, but also from the low post with a turnaround jumper, cashing in off his size. He can be pretty quick displaying his mechanics, and he shows a great sense of timing to execute every move while always evaluating his match-up's reaction. Indeed, he often makes opponents bite on his fakes, forcing many fouls in the process or just paving his way to the basket. That's logically helped become the dual-threat that he is his with shooting and slashing abilities.

His body control also chimes in there. It's funny, because at first sight you might get the feeling that his big body might somehow escape his control. But the reality couldn't be further, as his body perfectly follows his orders. For example, 6-10 guys (his likely size in shoes) running at full speed in transition tend to bump into opponents that step in their way to the basket, but Danilo has no trouble slashing by them, being able to easily change directions on the run. He actually delivered a spectacular coast-to-coast play that included a behind-the-back direction change he executed with his left hand between two opponents at almost full speed. If not the quickest and most reactive guy around, he is pretty fast when he starts moving, which looks obvious when he plays transition ball. His incredibly long strides help a great deal here as well. Just to emphasize that point, he got to the free throw line an astounding 17 times against Teramo last week.

Every game is a door open to amazement. He's so skilled and fundamentally sound that remarkable plays are bound to happen on a regular basis.


For good measure, here's Givony's interview with the big Italian...