The Los Angeles Clippers stayed put in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft, selecting North Carolina PF Brice Johnson with the 25th overall pick.
In the second round, the Clippers had the 33rd overall pick. For the second year in a row, the Clippers made a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. This time, the Clippers moved down, sending the draft rights to Kansas PF Cheick Diallo to the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to France PG David Michineau (39th pick overall) and Maryland C Diamond Stone (40th pick overall).
Johnson (6’9″, 209 pounds at 2016 NBA Combine) stayed at North Carolina all four years, setting the school single-season record with 416 rebounds in 2015-2016. He averaged 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 2015-2016, shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Johnson, 22 on Monday, June 27, didn’t attempt a single three-pointer, but the Clippers feel like he can add that to his game.
“Right now, he is a guy that has 15-18 [range in feet], but we think he can make it out from the three-point line,” said Doc Rivers, Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations.
“We like a lot of the things he can do and has done. He has played big games in college. We like his upside too. We like the fact that we believe he has a chance to help right away. But, we also feel like he has a high ceiling and he can get a lot better.”
Michineau (6’4″, 180 pounds) is a French native who played for Chalon-Sur-Saone in France. Michineau, 22, didn’t play much this past season (13.6 minutes per game, ranked eighth on team), and he averaged 5.6 points (43.4 percent FGs), 0.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.4 3s (32.6 percent). The Clippers liked Michineau’s speed, among other things.
“We loved his defense,” Rivers said. “His ability to play both positions. More of a point than a two. Great feel. There were a lot of people very high on him. But he is very young, and he has a chance to get a lot better.”
Stone (6’9″, 254 pounds at 2016 NBA Combine) was only at Maryland for his freshman year, averaging 12.5 points and 1.6 blocks per game in 2015-2016. He made 56.8 percent from the field and 76.1 percent from the free throw line; like Johnson he didn’t attempt any three-pointers. Stone only averaged 5.4 rebounds per game, and he only had 15 total assists in more than 800 minutes. Stone also had the second-highest body fat percentage at the combine (12.85 percent), but that doesn’t concern Rivers right now.
“I like his size. If you just look at his offense, he is a steal,” Rivers said. “He had high
first-round offensive ability. What he hasn’t shown yet is if he can defend in our league or defend period. So that is one of the things we are going to try to get him to do. He’s a load down low. He had a 40-point game in college. So he’s proven he can score. I can’t wait to coach him.”
Thank you @LAClippers
— All Eyes On Me (@Diamond_Stone33) June 24, 2016