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June 11 Workouts

The Clippers brought six more draft prospects in for workouts today:  guards DJ Augustin of Texas, Joe Crawford of Kentucky, Mike Taylor formerly of Iowa State and the Idaho Stampede in the D-League, and Jaycee Carroll of Utah State.  They also brought in two centers, JaVale McGee of Nevada and one of the top international bigs, Alexis Ajinca from France. 

In a draft that has one great point guard prospect (Derrick Rose) and a handful of combo guards (OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Russell Westbrook, etc.), Augustin is pretty widely regarded as the best 'pure' point guard after Rose.  As such, he's going to get a look from teams drafting as high as the Knicks at six and the Clippers at seven, while he's unlikely to fall out of the lottery with teams like Indiana and Sacramento almost as desperate for a point guard as LA. 

If the Clippers had not just come off a season in which the lion's share of the point guard minutes were split between Brevin Knight (5'11") and Dan Dickau (6'0") (they actually had those two and 5'10" Andre Barrett on the active roster for 10 days in March), I would probably be more open to the possibility of Augustin (measured a half inch shy of 6'0" in his shoes in Orlando) with this pick.  He's quick, he can shoot, and he's a true point guard, which is more than can be said for anyone else who'll be on the board.  If the 6'7" Shaun Livingston is capable of playing next season, Augustin might actually be an interesting yin to Livvy's yang.  But with Knight already signed for another year, I just have nightmare's of teeny tiny point guards incapable of seeing over their defenders to make a post entry pass.  Still, as I mentioned in a different post, I think I'd rather have Augustin than the similarly lilliputian TJ Ford, if it comes to that.  Of the diminutive, initialized, Longhorn point guards, DJ is a lot cheaper than TJ, and comes sans congenital spinal condition.  I'm just saying.

Like Anthony Randolph from Tuesday's workout, McGee is not going to be a Clipper.  But the team's doing it's homework, and checking out a very young, very long (7'6" wingspan!) big man with lots of potential.  But the only way he figures into the Clippers' plans is if they draft him for another team, and even then it seems unlikely picking 7th.  It's always a good idea to have another big man at a workout so the prospects can match up against each other, and at this one it was Ajinca.  He's seven feet tall (or is that 2.13 meters?) and only 20 years old.  He barely plays for his French pro team, so naturally he's a big time NBA prospect.  He could certainly be available at 35 if the Clippers decide to take a flyer with their second round pick.

Crawford and Davis are both likely to be available at 35.  While both played well at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp, Davis was quite a story there.  Kicked off the Iowa State squad, he played in the NBDL last season for the Stampede.  He is the first player ever to go from the NBDL to the draft, and opened eyes in Orlando with his athleticism.  He's one of the more intriguing point guard prospects who could be on the board at 35 (along with Mario Chalmers from Kansas, in my book).

Carroll was the WAC Player of the Year, and might be an interesting guy to put on a summer league roster, but he's not getting drafted.  For one thing, if teams were 'scared' by the age of the 23 year old Al Thornton last season, what must they think of a four year player who also served a two year Mormon mission and enters the draft at the age of 25?  But the guy can shoot: almost 50% from three last season, and an eye-popping 92% from the line.  It's not always possible, but if I were a GM I'd certainly try to make room for shooters on my roster.