If the Clippers hired me to play GM for the draft, this is how I would approach it. I've seen enough mock drafts w/ Thabeet going to us at the 3 spot to be more than a little concerned, but hopefully we'll be competent enough to avoid him.
#1. Ricky Rubio - Many are tempted to put him in the #1 spot, and it's easy to see why if you watch any film on him. He's a throw-back kind of player that could not only be great, but one of the most exciting to watch lead a team. With the fan base and executives anywhere from disappointed to infuriated w/ BD's 1st season, this could be just the face lift the team needs. As recently mentioned in the previous thread, Rubio & EJ have the potential to make for one of the most youthful & explosive back courts in the league. Probability of drafting #1: 17.7%
#2. Blake Griffin - For strong reason, the consensus 1st overall pick would bring plenty of buzz to the Clippers, but Griffin wouldn't figure to have the kind of impact that the team needs in the short term, nor would he seem to have the edge on long term upside when compared to Rubio. He's definitely the most prudent pick at #1 due to his very high floor, but the Clippers don't need solid, they need transcendent. On the other hand, Griffin would seem like a dream pick for OKC...Probability of drafting #2: 17.3%
Probability of drafting 1 or 2 : 35% Unfortunately, we must come to grips with the fact that we are unlikely to draft Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio. While we have a solid chance of getting here, the reality is that we can't be too disappointed when the odds aren't in our favor. If it's any consolation, the Wizards only have a 35.2% chance of landing in the top 2 spots while the Kings are also under 50% likely go 1st or 2nd @ 46.5%
#3. DeMar DeRozan - Pick #3 is where it starts to get interesting, but what I like about DeMar is that he for sure has an NBA body w/ a ton of upside, and in the small amount of experience we have to go on, he played his best at the right time. Despite the merry-go-round exploits of his "posse", he seems like a good kid, and think he projects as a nice upgrade over Thornton because he's got a better shooting stroke and because he has an easier time deffering to teammates. He'll need to be coached, especially on the defensive end, but it's hard to pass up on this kind of talent, especially after Thornton's stock sliding over the past year. Unless someone goes overboard trying to trade up to get him, I take this guy all the way here. Probability of drafting #3: 16.4%
At least we are likely to land in the top 3 w/ an overall 51.4% chance.
#4. Brandon Jennings - Ricky Rubio aside, he's the only other PG that really stands out from the pack of solid points coming out this year. Like DeRozan, he's a hometown kid with plenty of upside to spare and is arguably more skilled at his position than DeRozan, but questions about how his body will hold up in the NBA persist. While he boasts more quickness and flash than Rubio, he doesn't seem to have that "heart of a champion" determination that Rubio plays with, though he does possess an inner toughness & cool about him that could prove to be very effective just as well. Would be slightly more willing to trade out of this spot, but am still plenty intruiged to take a shot and draft him. Probability of drafting #4 - 19.5%
#5. Jordan Hill - I don't like Hill at #3 or 4 as much because I like the idea of us taking a bold move rather than a safe pick this time, not that Hill is the safest pick around. No doubt he's improved tremendously over the last couple of years, but that also means he wasn't very good just a short time ago and his game still obviously needs plenty of work. Taking Harden, and dealing him shortly thereafter might be another option here, or just trading down or out altogether, just depends what we get back. Probability of drafting #5: 25%
Scary thought: We have about as much chance of drafting #4 or 5 (44.5%) as Sacramento has of drafting #1 or 2 (46.5%).
#6. With a 4% chance of landing here, we're obviously a big longshot to wind up having to be in this position, but if we do, we should be able to take one of the aforementioned players, especially with Thabeet & Harden projected in the top 5. If all else fails, we'd be all but forced to trade our pick, but the group of guys who figure to round out the lottery are Earl Clark, Stephen Curry, Gerald Henderson, Ty Lawson, Chase Budinger, Jonny Flynn, Erik Maynor, Tyreke Evans, & James Johnson. Donatas Mantiejunas (international player) is showing up on ESPN's simulator, but I don't know much about him.