The Clippers’ season is over, which means the next big event on the calendar is the NBA Draft, scheduled for November 18. The Clippers only have the 57th pick in the draft, but the Steve Ballmer-Lawrence Frank regime has shown a proclivity for buying draft picks or trading up in the draft, so we will be covering the draft a little bit more than might be warranted for the 57th pick alone. We are still just under two months out from the draft and a lot will change over that time, but here’s our mock draft roundup of who the Clippers might take here in late September.
ESPN: Nick Richards (center from Kentucky)
The Athletic: Lamar Stevens (forward from Penn State)
Here’s Sam Vecenie on the pick: “Stevens is another highly productive senior, having led Penn State to the brink of an NCAA Tournament berth prior to its cancellation. He averaged 17.6 points and 6.9 rebounds, plus averaged over a steal and a block per game. At 6-8, 230 pounds, Stevens is a power athlete who uses his mix of strength and quickness to maneuver around defenders and draw fouls. Teams are certainly skeptical about how that foul-drawing skill translates. However, the key question for teams is if the shot is even workable. He made 26 percent from 3 last season, and is a career 27.6 percent shooter. Scouts don’t think the mechanics are totally broken, but there is a real chance that he just doesn’t have the touch to shoot it consistently. The athletic profile is interesting enough to give him a two-way, though. The Clippers tend to value toughness and strength in prospects. They have a certain “DNA” they look for in players. Stevens’ motor and strength certainly brings a lot of that.”
Sports Illustrated: Sam Merrill (shooting guard from Utah State)
Tankathon: Caleb Wesson (center from Ohio State)
Nbadraft.net: Karim Mane (shooting guard from Vanier college)
It’s not surprising that this early in the process, there’s no consensus on a player or even a position that the Clippers are leaning towards. There are two shooting guards, a tweener forward, and two centers. Mane is a younger prospect (just 20) and somewhat less known because he played in Canada. Richards, Stevens and Wesson are seasoned, veteran college players who have played big minutes for big college programs. And Merrill is a very old (already 24) prospect who put up huge numbers in the lesser Mountain West Conference.
All in all, this is about as scattershot as one might expect. We will continue to keep an eye on the mock drafts as the draft draws near, and things will really pick up once the 2020 NBA season has ended. However, for now, that’s it for this mock draft roundup, late September edition. Do you know any of these guys? Do you like any of them? Is there someone else you have an eye on at 57? Let us know in the comments below!
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