NBA Draft Team Preview: Los Angeles Clippers
THE NBA Draft is just around the corner, in what shapes as one of the most anticipated selection nights in recent memory, thanks to a talented crop of up and comers set to have their dreams realised.
With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be previewing each side ahead of draft night on June 22, unpacking all 30 teams’ needs and potential selections as they look towards the future.
The Clippers draft capital has been a highly discussed topic over the past four years, since the team gave up an unprecedented amount of picks to acquire All-Star Paul George, indicating their intentions of becoming an instant contender. Unfortunately, this move has not paid off as of yet, with the Clippers still searching for a maiden title. However, they do have two picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, and will be eager to recruit some quality youngsters.
Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Eric Gordon (team option), Norman Powell, Marcus Morris Sr., Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, Amir Coffey, Bones Hyland, Terance Mann, Brandon Boston, Jason Preston, Moussa Diabate
The Clippers carry a stacked list into the upcoming NBA season, but that may change over the coming months with a number of trades rumoured. Regardless, they will be looking to the draft to build the depth around a list that is in need of some more youth.
With pick 30, the Clippers could opt to select the most readymade player in the pool, and a player we have mentioned previously could fit the bill here in Jaime Jaquez Jr., who looks a solid fit for any contending side. Jaquez Jr. would provide a spark off the bench given his solid scoring capability and strong defensive intent. Much of his impressive college career was spent just down the road as a member of UCLA, so there is no doubt the Clippers would be keeping an eye on him.
With the futures of Leonard and George unclear, the Clippers could go for Andre Jackson Jr. for the future. As a valued member of Connecticut’s team, Jackson Jr. excelled in a point-forward style of play, which could free up the likes of Boston Jr. and Hyland in the future to play off the ball and attack the rim with intent. He looks a seriously good player in the open court, and would certainly bring a lot on both sides of the court to any NBA side.
With the 48th pick in the draft, the Clippers will obviously have less options, but there will still likely be some strong choices. Another player we previously mentioned in Zach Edey could be a potential player, with the big man showing plenty of strong play at NCAAM level in the past. As has Coleman Hawkins, with the forward showing a prototype that could be perfect for the NBA in the coming years, with the combination of shooting, defence and passing potential making him a very attractive option as well.
The Clippers will be looking to get the most out of their two draft picks next month, and although neither are in the lottery, the depth of the class means they will likely have plenty of quality to pick from.