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Caught in the Draft

I've tried to emphasize that the draft will continue to move.  I think I've used the term "It's early" about 100 times since we started talking about it.  (Of course, ClipsNation started talking about the draft earlier than a lot of other teams, but still.)  As pointless as it often seems for so-called draft experts to comment on what may or not happen this far in advance of the actual draft (June 26th is still more than a month away), how much less useful is it for me, a decided non-expert, to parse the words of the experts?  Still, a blogger's task is nothing if not pointless, so we do what we can.

I can't speak for everyone, but given the Clippers' desperate need for a guard, I've sort of 'settled' on OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless and Eric Gordon as the three that could be there, and that could help.  About the only thing we know for sure is that Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley will be gone by the seventh pick.  After that, it's still guesswork.  And certainly it's far from guaranteed that one of those three would be the pick, even if they're still on the board.  Some of you would rather have Russell Westbrook than Gordon.  I've seen Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Love and DJ Augustine listed as the Clippers' pick.  So, yeah, it's still a crap shoot.  But right now, the worst case scenario to me is that all three of those guard prospects will be taken by the time the Clippers are on the clock.

But just to illustrate the point about how much this is in flux, take a look at Mark Heisler's mock draft in Sunday's LA Times.  Heisler is not exactly in lock step with the other mock drafters out there, and I like that about him.  He's working his sources, looking at  team needs, and determining who he thinks teams are going to take.  And in his latest effort, he has Mayo AND Bayless AND Gordon all on the board when the Clippers pick, leaving LA with an assortment of guard riches to choose from.  After a fairly consensus top three (Rose, Beasley and Brook Lopez) Heisler is predicting that Seattle and Memphis will go 'big' with Anthony Randolph and Kevin Love, while the Knicks will opt for a 'pure' point guard in Augustine.  That leaves all of the talented combo guards sitting there for the Clippers.  Would that it were so.  From his column to the FSM's noodly ears.

So as silly as it is, I'm excited about the possibility that those guys will be available for the Clippers to choose from.  (He has them taking Mayo, btw.)  Why is it silly?  Well, for one thing, it's probably just not true.  I'm no expert, but I'll be shocked if Mayo doesn't fly up everyone's draft board once these guys start working out for individual teams.  In fact, Chad Ford has a brand new rave of Mayo from Tim Grover's gym in Chicago.  So I just don't believe that Mayo is going to be there.  But NBA teams do tend to opt for size at the end of the day, so it's certainly possible that Bayless and Gordon will be around.

It's also silly because I'm just so dangerously uninformed.  Why do I like Bayless and Gordon more than Westbrook and Augustin?  I have my reasons - Westbrook is not a scorer, which the Clippers need, and Augustin is under 6'0", which scares me after last season - but that doesn't mean I'm right. 

It's almost a guarantee that a very good player (based on past history a future all star) will be on the board when the Clippers draft seventh.  That's not the problem.  The problem is finding him.