The 2021 NBA Draft is less than 10 days away, which means it’s time for another mock draft roundup focused on the Clippers. Below are seven sites’ mocked picks for the Clips, most with explanations on the selection, of which I’ve curated key bits.
ESPN: Cameron Thomas, SG
“With questions lingering around Kawhi Leonard‘s future, the Clippers will need to add scoring punch to their backcourt/wing rotation… Expecting a pick in the mid-20s to be an instant contributor is a tall ask, but if anyone can do it it’s Thomas… He is one of the best scorers in the draft and will likely need very little time to acclimate himself offensively…”
The Athletic: Jaden Springer, PG/SG
“The Clippers love toughness, and Springer does bring that in how competitively he plays, especially on the defensive end… Springer won’t necessarily be able to step in and help immediately, given the adjustments he needs to make and the improvement he needs as a shooter. But I do like him as a nice potential complement to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard…”
Sports Illustrated: Joel Ayayi, SG
“Ayayi was among the players who opted out of attending the draft combine… A capable shooter, excellent passer and elite off-ball cutter, Ayayi is the type of feel-driven player the Clippers tend to love… Ayayi has the chops to help a playoff team early in his career, and added upside as he gains comfort playing on the ball.”
Bleacher Report: Jaden Springer, PG/SG
There was no description from BR here, but I love Jaden Springer and am delighted that two different sites in this 2021 mock draft roundup had him going to the Clippers.
The Ringer: Greg Brown, PF
“If there’s one thing the Clippers lack, it’s a young prospect with raw skills and a ton of promise… Brown lacks seasoning, but he’s an incredible athlete who projects as an impactful defender. Though there’s a chance Brown doesn’t pan out, the Clippers don’t have many valuable picks or much upside on their roster, so they need to take a risk.”
CBS Sports: Ayo Dosunmu, SG
“The Clippers could use some scoring pop off the bench, and Ayo Dosunmu is one of the most polished scorers in the draft… His size and length will allow him to play multiple positions and fit into the Clippers’ switching defensive scheme.”
Yahoo Sports: Quentin Grimes, SG
No description here either. I like Grimes ok – I think there will be better prospects available at 25 (like Springer and Ayayi), but I wouldn’t hate the pick.
NBC Sports: Usman Garuba, PF/C
“In the modern NBA, he’s likely a stretch four of undersized five in the pros. He has a solid release from the perimeter and he has good movement without the ball, but he doesn’t jump off the page.
LA needs physical defenders with upside. They also need players that can fill in and play right away… Either way, he looks like a versatile player that will eventually carve out a niche in the NBA.”
There’s not a ton more to add. I’d be very, very happy with five of these picks (Springer, Ayayi, Garuba, and Dosunmu), ok with Grimes, not super pleased with Thomas, and apoplectic at a Brown pick. Six of these players are guards, which does I think hint at where the Clippers might go. Stay tuned for at least one other mock draft roundup coming in the next week or so!