While NBA players have expressed little interest in playing for the Los Angeles Clippers until Donald Sterling is completely expunged from the franchise, 2014 NBA Draft prospects are a little bit open to the idea.
“I’m sure they’re going to figure it out,” said Australian combo guard Dante Exum on the Donald Sterling situation. “I’m here to play basketball. I just want to play basketball so it doesn’t matter to me.”
Considering Dante Exum is expected to be a top-6 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, his sentiments, while projecting a good sign as players aren’t afraid of the idea of being a Clipper, mean little as Los Angeles own the 28th pick and have little chance to trade down. But late first-round picks echoed the same sentiment.
“I’d be happy,” said 2013-14 NCAA champion Shabazz Napier. According to mock drafts, he’s expected to fall toward the latter end of the second round and with Darren Collison likely to opt out of his player option to test free agency this summer, Los Angeles would be an ideal fit for the point guard. “It’s a team drafting me. I’m not all into that Donald Sterling stuff. I think it’s a great organization.”
The idea of playing under Chris Paul was something that stuck out here also.
“I wouldn’t mind working under CP, somebody I like to watch play,” said Elfred Payton of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, another project late first-round draft pick. “I think he would have a lot to teach me.”
Obviously these players don’t represent the views of each and every prospect in the NBA Draft, but it’s a great sign to see that Sterling hasn’t scared off every possible talent in the world.