The 2022 NBA Draft is tomorrow, and while the Clippers only have the 43rd pick, odds are good that they make a move of some kind. With that said, here are some prospects I like who should be available within their range at 43 as well as some they’d have to move up a bit to get. I didn’t include any prospects projected in the top 20 as the Clippers probably won’t make a move that high up in the draft.

Prospects I like at 43

Christian Koloko – Koloko seems like one of those big men that’s “out of fashion” in the NBA. A true 7 footer who probably won’t be able to switch much at the NBA level, Koloko is a dominant rim protector (2.8 blocks per game in 25 minutes) with great instincts to pair with his tremendous size. He’s not a great rebounder and is fairly limited offensively, but he can finish around the rim and has improved his free throw shooting substantially to the point he can’t just be hacked. Koloko seems like a solid bet to be a good backup center due to his defense, and that’s a nice pick at 43.

Jabari Walker – Walker is a smooth-shooting forward from Colorado who was an exceptional rebounder (9.4 per game his sophomore season) in college. He’s not a great playmaker or scorer, but he has the size, tools, and instincts to be capable defensively across multiple positions, which makes up for a lot. Think Jae Crowder as a best-case scenario.

Ryan Rollins – Rollins exploded in his sophomore season, scoring more than 5 additional points per game while upping his efficiency in just an extra couple of minutes per contest. Rollins’ shooting is a question mark, as while he’s a dominant midrange scorer and a good shooter from the free-throw line, the three-point shot hasn’t been there so far. Still, he’s an excellent ballhandler and two-level scorer with potential for more. He has an enormous wingspan though is a bit undersized, so defense could either become a strength or remain a real weakness.

Dereon Seabron – Seabron is an explosive scoring guard who can get to the line and finish around the rim, but can’t shoot. His size and athleticism should enable him to continue getting downhill at the NBA level with improved shooting and spacing around him, and he’s a tremendous rebounder. The question marks as a shooter and defender are there, but if he improves at even one he should be a very nice second unit scorer.

Prospects I’d Trade Up For

Kennedy Chandler – Chandler is looking like a late first or early second round pick, and if he’s there, the Clippers should look to grab him. Sure he’s small (about 6 feet) and can be targeted defensively. But he’s blazing quick, a very capable ball-handler and decision-maker, and can finish around the rim. Plus, despite his size, he’s a feisty, active, and smart defensive player (2.2 steals per game) who shouldn’t be as much an issue as say Trae Young on that end. The Clippers could use a backup point guard, and while Jason Preston is there, Chandler offers a very different take on the PG position.

Jake Laravia – Laravia is a player tailor-made for the modern NBA. While he’s not very athletic, his 6’9 230 pound frame should enable him to guard a couple of positions. Most importantly, he’s a connector type on offense, someone who can dribble-pass-shoot and make decisions quickly when under pressure. His shot is extremely smooth and his height enables him to get looks over the opposition with ease. Laravia has continued to surge up boards into the early 20s, but if he falls at all, he’d be someone who should slot into a rotation spot quickly and stay there for a long time.

Jaylin Williams – Jaylin is young, was productive in a Power 5 conference, has decent size, and is a smart defender while being a dominant rebounder. Why is he being projected in the second round? Well, he doesn’t offer a whole lot of scoring, and his lack of athleticism paired with mixed shooting means he might not provide much on offense in the NBA. However, he’s a phenomenal defensive player with excellent instincts, and with just a bit more lateral quickness should be able to switch onto perimeter players. He’s also a tremendous passer and should be dynamite in the short roll game. Maybe limited offensively, but you want to bet on his basketball smarts and rebounding.

Marjon Beauchamp – Marjon is a do-it-all type wing whose major question mark is shooting. He is a good cutter, a plus defender, and possesses a great motor that leads to him doing a lot of the “little things” out on the court. If he can’t shoot, he’s likely going to be a fringe bench player who can chip in smaller roles. If his shot develops, there might be a starter in there. For a late 1st, that’s not a bad bet.

I won’t include any prospects I don’t like this year! Maybe it’s because I’m just trying to be more positive in general, or maybe it’s because of the sad news of Caleb Swanigan’s passing, a guy who I never liked much as a prospect and was perhaps too harsh on because of it. More positivity, at least until draft night when the Clippers take someone I don’t like!

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