The Clippers have made their 3rd selection of the 2021 NBA Draft, selecting Brandon BJ Boston out of Kentucky. The Clippers got the pick through cash and a future top-55 protected second round pick – meaning they essentially got him for “free” in terms of tangible assets.
Boston is a 6’7, 187 pound wing who was actually a top 5 high school prospect in the class of 2020, so he has some “blue blood” pedigree. He was California Mr. Basketball in 2020 and a McDonald’s All-American.
Unfortunately, Boston was miserably bad at Kentucky, scoring 11.5 points per game on 35.5% shooting from the field and 30% from three while getting to the line 2.6 times per game (78.6% shooting). His stock slipped tremendously, obviously, enough for him to slip to 51 in the draft.
Boston clearly has talent, especially as a scorer, and his rebounding numbers were solid too. To become an NBA player, he has to be able to shoot efficiently – from literally anywhere on the court. The three-point shot coming around is big, but so is finishing at the rim – he shot 38.4% on twos, a horrible number for anyone, but especially at 6’7 wing.
Brandon Boston does have an impressive high school pedigree, so one bad season at Kentucky can be written off by the Clippers in pursuit of upside. Still, it’s hard to imagine him contributing at all next season.
The interesting element here is that by taking three guys in the draft, the Clippers all of a sudden have a crowded roster, especially at guard. Are they really going to bring Keon Johnson, Jason Preston, BJ Boston, Amir Coffey, and Jay Scrubb on the roster (even with two of them on two-ways) alongside Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, and Paul George? That’s a lot, and it makes me think one or both of Scrubb and Coffey could be elsewhere next year.
It’s hard to complain about an upside gamble at 51, so BJ Boston is a fine enough pick for the Clippers, especially if all they gave up was some cash.