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Former Clipper News

It has not been a particularly successful off-season for former Clipper first round picks.  Bear in mind, when you're talking about the Clippers, it's usually a pretty high pick, so these guys were supposed to be OK.  

Going all the way back to the 1994 NBA Draft, Lamond Murray's (7th overall) 12 year NBA career would appear to be over.  The combination of New Jersey's wafer thin bench and Uncle Cliffie's penchant for weed saw Lamond playing 30 minutes in the Nets' final playoff game against the Heat.  His 30 minutes, 14 points and 7 rebounds were apparently a coda to his playing days, not a springboard to a new contract.  The Nets did not re-sign him, nor has anyone else.  Rumor has it, he worked out with Clipper players at the teams training facility this summer, but he was not invited to camp.  He could end up signing somewhere before the end of the season, but for now it looks like he is done.

1996 first rounder Lorenzen Wright (also 7th overall) had a good news / bad news off-season.  The good news is he signed with Atlanta.  The Bad news is he signed with Atlanta.

1997 first rounder Mo Taylor (14th overall) was bought out by the Knicks.  I guess compared to his recent history of injuries and DNP's, being bought out was a relatively good thing.  He signed this morning with the Kings, which seems like a strange decision given that the Kings have very little room on their roster.  Mo was a terrific offensive player for the Clippers, but never showed the heart to be a good rebounder.  His rebounding numbers were always a little embarrassing considering his size.

Speaking of a lack of heart, 1998 first round Michael Olowokandi, the number 1 overall pick, was a free agent this summer and received exactly ZERO offers.  Apparently, he is not quite ready to hang up the sneakers yet, and he actually TALKED his way into the Celtics camp.  This is interesting, not just because a former number 1 pick had no contract offers at the age of 31.  The biggest knock on Kandi has always been that he just doesn't really LIKE to play basketball.  Well, here he is, fighting with Leon Powe and Dwayne Jones for a Celtics roster spot.  Good for him!  But barring some sort of fluke revival to his career, Kandi has a real shot at the title of 'Worst Number 1 Overall Pick Since LaRue Martin.'  He'll soon be in the clubhouse with career averages of 8.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg, and a single season best of 11 and 9.  Kwame has a chance to catch him, but he'll have to avoid the type of interest in basketball he exhibited late last season.

2000 picks Darius Miles (3rd overall), Keyon Dooling (10th) and Quentin Richardson (18th) appear to be starting the season with cloudy futures in Portland, Orlando and New York respectively.

2002 picks Chris Wilcox (8th) and Melvin Ely (12th) bothed re-signed with their current teams, though neither really got the deal they would have liked.  Wilcox ended up with 3/$24 from Seattle, where at least he has a good situation as the starting power forward.  Melvin Ely ended up taking the qualifying offer from the Bobcats, who have younger, more talented players on their front line they'd rather play.