The Clippers could use a forward. That was evident across all of last season after the Harden trade. However, they took Kobe Brown with the 30th pick in last draft to eventually fill that void, so I’m not sure if another draft pick would overtake him for that spot. Still, the NBA is a league that is increasingly wing-focused, so the Clippers taking a stab at another wing even with Kawhi, Terance, Amir, and Jordan Miller on the roster (not even counting Norm or Brown) is reasonable enough, even if the need for a big or point guard is greater.

The following explanation is more or less a copy paste explanation of the stats and methodology from previous years. The numbers I compile for this are for college players only (no international, OTE, or G-League players included), and are per game, not per possession. In the NBA, per possession is a more useful stat, but when looking at college players, I feel like playing time is a bigger component – if you can’t play in college, you probably won’t play in the NBA. I also stopped at around number 70 on ESPN’s prospect list, as guys below are unlikely to get picked even at 46. Finally, the numbers are averaged between the last two college seasons the players played, which can hurt some guys but can balance out outlier seasons.

Dalton Knecht23.
Cody Williams19.611.931.60.60.720.70.62
Ja’Kobe Walter19.814.
Tristan Da Silva23.11651.
Johnny Furphy19.594.910.
Kyshawn George20.57.632.
Baylor Scheierman23.815.
Jaylon Tyson21.515.
Justin Edwards20.
Cam Christie18.911.
Terrence Shannon Jr.23.920.
Ryan Dunn21.
Kevin McCullar Jr.23.314.
Harrison Ingram21.611.
Pelle Larsson23.311.
Jaylen Wells20.812.
Dillon Jones22.718.810.
Keshad Johnson239.
Jalen Bridges23.
Antonio Reeves23.617.
Cam Spencer24.
Isaiah Crawford22.6155.82.521.

For wings, the stats that consistently carry the most value in terms of correlation to NBA success are age, turnovers (better to be lower/younger), rebounds, assists, steals, and true shooting. As with point guards, blocks and points aren’t very important, though interestingly neither is three-point volume. Do-it-all wings are the ones with the best chance of making an impact in the NBA.

Best Prospects in Clippers’ Range

Dillon Jones – Jones is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. A stocky 6’6, 235 pound forward from Weber State, Jones feasted on Big Sky competition, earning three All Big Sky Team recognitions and winning conference player of the year his senior season. The competition was bad compared to most of these prospects, but Jones’ rebounding, assist, and steal rates were all fantastic and he was a very efficient scorer at good volume. His three-point shooting was a bit hit or miss, but he was a fantastic free throw shooter and scored excellently from two-point range. He’s old, but he could be quite good.

Cam Spencer – Spencer was a huge part of UConn’s triumphant NCAA championship last season, starting in all 40 games and contributing excellent across-the-board production. Spencer is shooting-guard sized, and will have some athletic disadvantages in the NBA, but he’s a terrific shooter and is just a smart player who understands how to play winning basketball. The connective passing and ability to generate steals (he rated as a very impactful defender in college) should make Spencer a useful player to complement his high-volume shooting. Low upside, but a guy who could play for the Clips right away.

Kevin McCullar Jr. – McCullar is a fifth-year senior who played his last two seasons at Kansas. At 6’6, 205 pounds, he’s a solid wing size and contributes rebounds, assists, and steals alongside some cutting and interior scoring. McCullar’s swing skill is outside shooting, as he was a combination of low-volume, low-percentage in college. However, he’s a fantastic perimeter defender who would be a legit rotation player if he could shoot even decently at the NBA level. Worth a flier.

Prospects to Trade Up For

Baylor Scheierman – Scheierman is one of the oldest players in this class, but is a statistical standout due to his combination of rebounding, playmaking, and scoring efficiency with fairly low turnovers. At nearly 24 years old, Baylor lacks the upside of some of his draft classmates, but seems one of the surest guys to step in as a ready-made role player who can shoot, dribble, and pass, and has the size to stick on defense. He’s projected to go anywhere from the late 1st to the mid 2nd, but I doubt he falls to 46.

Prospects to Avoid

Antonio Reeves – The avoid list is short this year, as I think there are a lot of wings in this range who I’d be fine with. Reeves is the closest to a “do not draft” for me, as his fifth-year senior season at Kentucky was a massive outlier compared to his earlier college career in terms of impact. The issue with Reeves is he’s really more of a point guard size (6’4, 185) but is really more of an off-guard scorer. He’s an excellent shooter, but those types of players (Seth Curry, even Luke Kennard) don’t have nearly the value in the NBA that they used to, when shooting was more of a premium.

International Prospects of Note

Melvin Ajinca – Ajinca turns 20 the day of the draft, making him one of the youngest players in this years class. A 6’7 forward, Ajinca plays for Saint-Quentin Basket in the LNB Pro A, one of the top domestic leagues in Europe. He averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 0.5 steals in 24.6 minutes per game, solid production for a young player. His shooting splits are less impressive, with 37.5% from the field and 30.9% from three. However, Ajinca took 5.3 threes per game, an extremely high volume for a European player especially at his age. The prospect of a three-point shooter at his size is intriguing.

Nikola Djurisic – Djurisic is a 20 year old, 6’7 Serbian wing who plays for Mega Basket in the Adriatic Basketball League (ABA). Djurisic first played professionally as just a 17 year old, and put together an impressive 2024 season, with 14.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1 steals in 30.7 minutes per game. Djurisic shot 45.4% from the field and 33% from three (3.7 attempts), solid efficiency numbers, though he did turn the ball over 3.2 times per game. Djurisic’s production at his age against fairly good competition bodes well for his ability to make the jump to the NBA as a scoring wing.

Any wings or forwards you have your eyes on in this draft class?

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