- Here’s a list of the best Los Angeles Clippers’ picks in franchise history.
- Blake Griffin leads the list of players Los Angeles selected through the draft.
- Other notable Clippers players include Lamar Odom and DeAndre Jordan.
The Los Angeles Clippers joined the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team and was known as the Buffalo Braves before relocating to San Diego and rebranding as the Clippers in 1979. Now, the franchise is known to be the city rivals of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Clippers haven’t had much success compared to the Lakers because they are one of the five NBA teams never to reach the NBA Finals and one of the 11 NBA teams that never won a championship.
Because of this, the team is constantly improving their roster through trades and the draft to increase their NBA Championship odds. Speaking of the Los Angeles Clippers draft picks, who among them are considered the best? And who among them has significantly contributed to the franchise? Find out below.
In 2009, the Clippers drafted the 6-foot-9 high-flyer Blake Griffin as their first overall pick. His debut in the league was delayed because he suffered an injury before the season started and needed a year off to recover. But when he began playing for the team, he instantly brought back excitement and hope for the franchise with his highlight-reel plays. Griffin won the Rookie of the Year award in 2010 with averages of 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists.
The former University of Oklahoma star was also one of the top seven NBA rookies who played in the All-Star Game. Griffin became part of the Clippers’ “Lob City” era with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, where they led the team to the postseason in six straight seasons from 2012 to 2017. Before being traded to the Pistons in 2018, the athletic power forward was named to four more NBA All-Star Games and averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
The Clippers drafted Lamar Odom as the fourth overall pick in 1999. His play style was ahead of his time because he was a power forward with guard skills who can be a playmaker and also shoot from three-point range. Although he didn’t take home the Rookie of the Year award, he was included in the All-Rookie 1st Team in 2000, averaging 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
— History of Sports (@BeforeFamePics) November 2, 2015
In his first four seasons with the Clippers, Odom was a consistent contributor on both ends of the floor. Despite the team not qualifying for the postseason during his first season, the 6-foot-10 forward still averaged 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 230 games. After his rookie contract with the team, he signed with Miami in 2003 and won two titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. Odom returned home to the Clippers in his last season in 2012-13 before officially retiring in the NBA.
The other half of the Clippers’ “Lob City” era was DeAndre Jordan, who was drafted as a 35th pick in the second round of the 2008 draft. Jordan slowly worked his way into the starting lineup after being the team’s second-string center in his first two seasons. The former Texas A&M standout became a reliable rebounder and defensive anchor for the team. His best Clippers season was during the 2015-16 season, where he racked up 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game and was named to the All-NBA 1st Team.
DeAndre Jordan is the first player in NBA history w/ 15+ points, 16+ rebs, 3+ blocks, 2+ steals and 100% FG% in a single game. #NBABallot
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 6, 2015
Jordan was also included in the NBA All-Star Game in 2017 after posting similar averages from the previous season. The 6-foot-11 center also authored one of the top seven NBA in-game dunks of all time when he posterized Brandon Knight in March 2013 after receiving a lob pass from Chris Paul. In 2018, “Big Hero 6” opted out of his contract with the team and signed with Dallas. Jordan played 750 games for the Clippers and averaged 9.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks.
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