NBA

2022 NBA Draft: Assessing Clippers options ahead of Thursday

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The NBA Finals ended less than 24 hours ago, which means the 2022 NBA Draft is right around the corner…literally. By this time next week, more than 60 prospects — 58 picks and a few undrafted free agents who will be picked up shortly after the draft closes — will have new homes and new opportunities. And while the Los Angeles Clippers might not be drafting from the most exciting place on the court, a byproduct of their trade for Paul George (perhaps you’ve heard of him) in 2019, they did a lot of due diligence before making the 43rd overall selection next Thursday night.

The Clips’ only pick comes halfway through the second round. LA is expected to effectively use the pick to bolster its ranks and inject more youth into the squad.

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Now whether or not he is at No. 43 remains to be seen. They could trade up or down without drastically altering their fates, given the typical success rate of second-round picks. However, hidden among the multitude of second rounds that inevitably fall by the wayside is often a gem. The Clippers are hoping to select the brightest of the lot.

So far, the Clippers have reportedly worked on the following players:

Perhaps the only surprise on the roster is Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams, who is widely considered a potential first-round pick. Kevin O’Connor’s latest draft for The ring has the Houston Rockets taking Williams with the 17th overall pick; CBS Sports’ two most recent simulations earned him picks 19 (Minnesota) and 23 (Philadelphia); ESPN sees Williams as a future Chicago Bull, being selected 18th overall.

Williams, needless to say, would probably be a pipe dream. For what it’s worth, he was eager to share that the Clippers worked it, posting the information on his Instagram story in May. Hey, a pipe dream is still a dream, right?

For the most part, though, these fake drafts (among other things) line up with the Clippers’ training history, Williams or not. Kansas guard Christian Braun becomes Clipper in Kyle Boone’s simulation draft for CBS Sports. Meanwhile, ESPN and Hoops Hype see Los Angeles trying their luck with France international Ismael Kamagate.

The most exciting prospect, however, might be Iowa State guard Izaiah Brockington. He’s listed as a leader despite his average distribution ability – just 1.6 assists per game last season; he never averaged more than 1.7 in four years with the Cyclones. Nonetheless, Brockington improved each season as a scorer and rim breaker. As his minutes climbed from 11.6 to 34.9 per game from his freshman year to his senior season, Brockington’s averages went from 4.3 to 16.9 points per game and from 1.2 to 6.8 rebounds per game. As a 6-foot-4 guard, that kind of versatility is hard to come by.

With the Clippers, there’s a good chance he’ll be a great fit behind Reggie Jackson as the team’s backup point guard, sharing those duties with a hopefully healthy Jason Preston. One of the two would probably end up spending time with Clippers’ G League affiliate Agua Caliente, but that’s part of the journey. If the Clippers draft Brockington, they’ll get another aggressive guard, who, with the right development, could become a contributor very soon.

Lawrence Frank and Steve Ballmer’s approach to the draft, regardless of selection, should be straightforward. According to Law Murray of Athleticism, “The Clippers are throwing a wide net of targets. There is no draft for need in the second round. They could use their pick on a one-and-done or super senior; a point guard or center; or any type of player in between. It’s all about BPA: best player available. »

The best players available, like Jabari Smith Jr. (currently -165 to be the top pick, according to DraftKings Sportsbook), Chet Holmgren (+125) and Paolo Banchero (+2000), will almost certainly be drafted into the top three. next week. Other favorites, at least to take in the top 10, include Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe and G League Ignite product Dyson Daniels (both -2500; as close to surefire top 10 picks as you can get), Bennedict Mathurin (-800) , Johnny Davis (-250) and Jalen Duren (+100), to name a few.

Place your bets and tune in Thursday to see who takes the Clippers, as well as who makes a pick surprise. There is always one; make money with it, why not you?

Check DraftKings Sportsbookthe official sports betting partner of SB Nation.

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