The 2016 NBA Draft starts at 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and for the first time since 2010, the Los Angeles Clippers have picks in the first and second round.
The Clippers have the 25th overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft. Notable 25th overall picks include Nicolas Batum (2008, Rockets, traded to Trail Blazers), Tony Allen (2004, Celtics) and Gerald Wallace (2001, Kings). In head coach/president of basketball operations Doc Rivers’ first draft with the Clippers in 2013, the team selected SF Reggie Bullock 25th overall. Bullock was traded midway through his second NBA season in a deal that brought PG Austin Rivers to Los Angeles from Boston, and Bullock has yet to play 500 minutes in a season.
The Clippers also has an early second round selection, the 33rd overall pick in the draft. The last Clippers draft to have a 1st and 2nd round pick was when Wake Forest SF Al-Farouq Aminu (8th overall) and Oklahoma SG Willie Warren (54th overall) were selected in 2010. Both players lasted only one season with the Clippers, with Aminu included in the Chris Paul trade in 2011 and Warren failing to stick in the NBA after his rookie season. The last time the Clippers had two picks in the top-33 was 2005, when the team selected Russia SF Yaroslav Korolev in the first round (12th overall) and Duke PG Daniel Ewing in the second round (32nd overall). Korolev was one of the worst lottery picks ever (even for the Clippers), and both he and Ewing never played in the NBA after the 2006-2007 NBA season.
But I digress. Notable 33rd overall picks include Hassan Whiteside (2010, Kings) and Brandon Bass (2005, New Orleans Hornets). Every 33rd overall pick since 1981 has played in the NBA. Bruce Collins of Weber State (1980, Trail Blazers) was the last 33rd pick not to play a game in the NBA.
Now, I released an offseason report covering the entire league this week. Here’s what I said for the Clippers:
The Clippers blew a 2-0 1st round lead for the second time in four years, and only one year after blowing a 3-1 series lead. They were another team that was a top-ten offense and defense, and that was with PF Paul Pierce starting three more games than Blake Griffin. The Clippers were 29th in the NBA in offensive rebounding, so they could stand to get tougher inside.
The Clippers could use depth at every position. You already know how it is every year at SF, but with Rivers, PG Pablo Prigioni, SG Jamal Crawford, SF Luc Mbah a Moute, SF Wesley Johnson, PF Jeff Green, and C Cole Aldrich all hitting free agency, the Clippers could hit any position with their picks. We’ll see what goes down tonight – in the meantime, here are all six pre-draft workouts and the players that would be the best fit from each:
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (May 18) [Providence PF Ben Bentil]
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (May 25) [Oregon State PG Gary Payton II]
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (June 1) [Saint Joseph’s SG DeAndre’ Bembry]
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (June 6) [Baylor SF Taurean Prince]
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (June 16) [Seton Hall SG Isaiah Whitehead]
Clippers 2016 Pre-Draft Workouts (June 20) [UNLV SG Patrick McCaw]