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) 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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  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    Maybe the plan to retain Rivers was to trade him for a draft pick.

    Ding ding. Jerry west did it again!

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    Can we draft a new coach?

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    Wasn’t there speculation that new cap/covid hits could allow a team to buy first round picks or am i making crap up?

  • Avatar Thretch says:

    I’m not really a draft fan, outside of the top 15 or so picks. I’ve been disappointed every time they trade up or buy a pick (T. Mann might be better). With our late first round picks, we seem to always disappoint. I didn’t think the Kabengele pick was worth trading for.

    Unless they get a higher pick (which is extremely doubtful, I’m in favor or trading those picks away to a team who does value them.

    The only value I place on a low pick is someone to fill 15th man role for very cheap, and someone who can be used in activities in practices; not really for their own skills as an NBA player.,

    • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

      The thing is you can find players there, but it’s highly unlikely, obviously. My kingdom for a monte morris style pick. I like Mann but he feels like he’ll be a future 2 way player at best.

      • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

        Well, he’s on the 15-man roster with a guaranteed contract, so he’ll probably never be a two-way player…

        • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

          Yes this is true. I’m being pessimistic and actually think Mann Prob has a decent ceiling. I just want one of these picks to hit and thus far, not so much.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    Btw, realistic bench vet C option in FA market is Kyle O’Quinn. (30yo, 6’10” w/ shoes with a massive 7’5″ wingspan)
    Nice passing big man who has a nice mid-range. (Can hit a three if needed) Hustle guy who knows how to contribute to the team in a positive and impactful way.

    I just don’t think they can acquire Baynes from Suns. I also don’t think legit players like Ibaka, Gasol or Noel will choose to join this team. Players know they will 100% feel miserable and turn into losers if they play for “Clippers”. So those solid players won’t come here on a cheap contract.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      Or… how about a sign & trade Trezz + Lou for Taj Gibson and filler(Elfrid Payton $8M)? They love having a bunch of PF/C and Their FO is a moron.

      Gibson’s $9.4M becomes fully guaranteed if not waived by October 17, 2020. (Source: But Kinkcs cleary don’t need him and barely use him. I think they’d rather want scoring punch.

      Gibson (6’9” stretch PF/C with a 7’4″ wingspan) said on November that “It’s a tough, bitter taste for me because I’ve been in the playoffs my whole career”.

      • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

        Gibson and Payton are both interesting looks, but Lou is significantly better than either of them. Particularly if Gibson gets cut from that NYK contract, I could see him as an option for LAC as a FA backup C–or the Clippers could flip Trez for that expiring deal in a S&T if the Knicks do end up agreeing to terms with Harrell.

        I’m not anti-Payton but I’m anti-getting worse, and Lou for Payton makes this team worse. Now, if they were to make some type of 2-for-1 trade with Pat/Lou for a different starting PG, Payton as a backup becomes interesting. But remember that he shot 20% from three last year on just 1.5 attempts per game. It’s gonna be hard to put a guard like that on the floor in the playoffs.

    • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

      We were in mix for KOQ last year IIRC.

      I don’t know that I buy the “they know they will be losers” even if we currently feel that way about the team.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Geeze you guys are having a pity party in here. Yeah, nobody would ever want to play with PG and Kawhi in LA after a 2nd round loss–that’s exactly why the Lakers got AD to force his way there after LeBron didn’t even make the playoffs last year. The defeatism here is perhaps a bit understandable because of the embarrassing fashion this team was eliminated in, but it’s pretty silly to act like this team is guaranteed to finish 5th and have PG/Kawhi walk. That’s the same exact irrational BS a Lakers fan would say if they were trolling us.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        ^ so much this. I’m as pissed off about this year’s failures as anybody on here, but some of us here are just justifying all the shit that Lakers fans say about us. We lost. It’s been two weeks, guys, let’s move on (and hope Doc does the same).

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        I’m personally preparing for the worst so if it happens I’m not shell shocked. If it works out, okay, great.

      • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

        I don’t look forward to three months of the Debbie Downers.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          This is what it’s gonna be until it’s not, you know? Like it doesn’t matter what happens. Clips beat the Lakers next time they play, it’s just the regular season, Clips are chokers in the playoffs. Even if they win the title, it’ll be “wow you guys got one ring? that’s cute.” And there will always be Clippers fans who internalize those narratives and self-troll. We can win the title and someone will leave a comment saying “I’m glad we won tonight but wow, feels like we got really lucky with X missing threes tonight, and Y didn’t play very well, we need to move on from him, I don’t think this team has what it takes to do this sustainably.”

        • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

          The “Debbie Downers” only exist because this franchise isn’t giving anyone a reason to be optimistic. Fifty years and not a single conference finals appearance, let alone a ring, and you blame fans for being negative? Yikes.

          • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

            Who’s blaming? I bleed too but it’s reading the same damn complaints over and over and over again that makes this place so miserable. Back in the day we had a lot less to cheer but folks still kept it light yet real.

      • Avatar John Maclean says:

        I think a lot about what you and Rob et al have invested in 213 hoops (which was genius based around Kawhi and PG) and my preference would be to keep them both and add a real floor general/third star. Respectfully, Raul Neto or Aron Baynes aren’t going to put us over the top. We are rudderless ships. Gotta get a real star quarterback to save this iteration.

        I agree that Kawhi and PG don’t really have anywhere to bolt to so we’re probably secure in keeping that together. And if there’s real traction on landing Giannis next summer then I’m fine with treading water for another season to make that happen. We would truly destroy the league for years with that trio. Regardless of point guard.

        But if neither of those first two scenarios is realistic we need to come to terms with that sooner than later and make moves accordingly. I probably should have laid better context before firing off emotionally charged posts but I think many of us are in that head space right now.

        Let’s all pump the brakes until after the finals. It’s going to be really interesting to see if Buckets and Iggy can neutralize Lebron and if Bam can make AD work at both ends. If so it will be the Lakers size and muscle versus the incredible three point marksmanship of the heat to settle it.

        Great stuff. Love this league.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          I mentioned this on our last pod, but I think even more than a floor general, the Clippers need a locker room general. Oftentimes those are the same guy (like CP3) but I think in Miami the locker room general is Udonis Haslem, the 15th-man veteran who is essentially an assistant coach.

          • Avatar chogokin says:

            I thought this is who Pat Bev was supposed to be. Unfortunately it looks like he’s more bark than bite.

          • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

            Bingo. And putting the leadership vacuum all in Doc is a step too far. The two teams in the Finals are there due to good coaching AND good locker room leaders.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    It would be nice to somehow buy a 1st rounder. Always good to have young talent on the team. In reality, really hard to get high impact rookie, especially late in 1st round. Clips have enough as it stands to win the Chip. They do. They need a new coach who will pull the right strings and instill a culture of excellence.

    I was reading Laker board (ugh!) and someone made what I felt was a pretty spot on comment about Dwight Howard. There was a chance that he could of been a Clipper. The comment was that Doc would have accepted the bad side of Howard and his antics, while Vogel (or maybe Lebron) let Howard know that he had a job to do and his antics hurt the team. I think Doc is actually a good coach, but the Clippers need a good x’s and o’s guy along with someone who instill a little more discipline as opposed to the “players coach”.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      “I think Doc is actually a good coach”

      I’ve said this so many times over the years…but there’s always a “but” that follows, and what comes after the “but” always outweighs everything that came before it. A new coach would be the biggest FA acquisition this team could make this offseason.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      It’s all Lebron. Vogel has impressed with his Xs and Os but we all know who runs that org and locker room. After all, didn’t he just say he’s glad he brought AD to the team? Dwight and his juvenile antics would have worn thin our weak locker room and that’s a rare instance where it’s not all in Doc. We just happened to sign the two FA superstars who aren’t leaders it turns out.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        Vogel isn’t a mastermind by any stretch, but “doing something different (e.g. benching Dwight/McGee) when it isn’t working” is leaps and bounds beyond what we just went through w/ our coaching staff.

  • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

    Oh, look, another hastily assembled team going to the Finals…

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      My respect for Jimmy Buckets went up. I think the difference between the Clippers and the Lakers and Heat are that those teams respective best players leadership in being all about business. Coaching helps too in that Spoelstra is leaps and bounds better than Doc. Vogel is good in that he makes adjustments at the right time instead of reactively a game or two too late. Imagine if we had Jimmy Butler instead of PG, I think we would have gotten to the WCF.

      • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

        I respect the fact that he found a culture that fits him and vice versa. But he clearly part of the disfunction at his last two stops. I don’t know if he would’ve been successful here. He needs to be the alpha or perceived as the alpha and that would never happen with Kawhi around.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Looking back, maybe the loss this year is a blessing in disguise.
    It took 3 years for Ballmer to let Doc only coach.
    And 3 years later, it might be good for everyone if he can become “Brand Ambassador” for the franchise.
    What Miami has done is so special.
    How can we create the winning culture for the franchise?
    How can we find the next Pop, Spo or Nurse?
    Lots of questions to be asked, but one thing is clear.
    You can’t find more passionate owner than Ballmer.
    This guy just bought an old stadium at almost half a billion, just so he can build his own one.
    He brought in the legendary consultant, who is behind some historical dynasties of the league.
    He formed the front office that other teams want to take away from us.
    There are group staff coaches who can become candidate of a vacant coaching job.
    We will improve, I don’t know where or how, but we will.
    50 years of existence for the franchise, we have a chance to witness the guidance of the new owner for only 6 years.
    Give him time, he will keep improving the franchise. I really believe that.