As I pointed out in my introduction to the site, we have a lot to talk about since this site has been inactive for around five months. One of those things that we need to talk about is the 2011 NBA Draft, reviewing and grading the selections that the LA Clippers made in that draft. So, why wait? let’s review and grade the selections that the Clippers made in the 2011 NBA Draft right now.
The Clippers did not have a first round pick since they traded it to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package deal that included Baron Davis going to the Cleveland Cavaliers (THANK YOU) and Mo Williams along with Jamario Moon to the LA Clippers. Sadly that first round pick that was given to the Cavaliers was unprotected, which ended up turning into the first pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. Yes, there were some Clipper fans that were disappointed because they initially lost out on the opportunity to have both Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin on the floor together, but most Clipper fans were content with the deal because it got rid of Baron Davis’s horrible contract, which will help a lot financially down the line. All wasn’t bad though because they still had solid second round picks (37 and 47). Speaking about those two second round picks, Let’s take a look at whom the selected with both of those second round selections and grade them on both of those selections.
37. Trey Thompkins, Georgia, PF
A problem for the Clippers last season was finding consistency at power forward behind Blake Griffin. First couple games you had the undersized Craig Smith as the backup then Brian Cook then later the Clippers signed Ike Diogu hoping for some sort of consistency as Blake Griffins backup, but just could not find it with him, nor with Craig Smith or Brian Cook. With the selection of Trey Thompkins, the Clippers are going to get more of a reliable backup for Blake Griffin. With Trey Thompkins versatility, being able to do work on the inside along with stretching out the defense with his range, you may see from time to time both him and Blake Griffin on the floor together. Thompkins does have some weight issues with his 15.5 percent body fat, which was the highest at the combine, but with the expected, long lockout he has no excuse to go to the gym and get that 15.5 body fat percentage down before the season starts, whenever that may be.
47. Travis Leslie, Georgia, SG/SF
Trey Thompkins Georgia Bulldog teammate, Travis Leslie had to be one of the biggest steals in the 2011 NBA Draft. Leslie has been called a “freak” because he is arguably the most athletic player in the whole draft along with having the most NBA ready body. Some compare Travis Leslie to Memphis Grizzlies, Tony Allen because both are athletic players along with great defenders. Leslie is going to provide athleticism and defense at both shooting guard and small forward positions for the Clippers, but in my perspective the Clippers will use him more at the shooting guard position since Eric Gordon does not really have that defense intensity like Travis Leslie has against opposing shooting guards.
As the roster stands right now after the draft:
PG-Mo Williams/Eric Bledsoe
SG-Eric Gordon/Randy Foye/Travis Leslie/Willie Warren
SF-Al Farouq Aminu/Ryan Gomes
PF-Blake Griffin/Trey Thompkins/Brian Cook
C-Chris Kaman/DeAndre Jordan (Given qualifying offer, so he is on the roster for right now)
In conclusion, even though the Clippers lost out on having the first overall pick that was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers they still got two quality guys in Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, who should both fit in perfectly with the LA Clippers.
Tags: 2011 NBA Draft 37th Selection 47th Selection Al-Farouq Aminu Baron Davis Blake Griffin Brian Cook Chris Kaman Cleveland Cavaliers DeAndre Jordan Eric Bledsoe Eric Gordon Georgia Bulldogs Jamario Moon LA Clippers Los Angeles Los Angeles Clippers Memphis Grizzlies Mo Williams Randy Foye Ryan Gomes Tony Allen Travis Leslie Trey Thompkins Willie Warren