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2016 Clippers Exit Interview: Branden Dawson

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The exit interview series rolls on with Branden Dawson, the Clippers' lone draft pick/purchase in 2015.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Branden Dawson

Age: 23

Key Stats (total with Clippers): 6 games, 29 minutes, 5 points (2-of-5 FGs), 4 rebounds, 1 block

Key Stats (per game with 3 NBDL teams): 29 games, 21.0 min, 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 51.8% FG

Years in NBA: 1

2015-2016 salary: $525,093

Future contract status: 1 remaining year for a non-guaranteed $874,636.  Restricted free agent in 2017.

Summary: Branden (with-an-E) Dawson drew some very optimistic comparisons to fellow former Michigan State four-year player Draymond Green, because both are (generously listed as) 6'7", both are tweeners, and both were drafted in the second round. Green, of course, is now an All-Star and one of the cornerstones of the defending champion Warriors. Dawson had a nice stint in Summer League but played just 29 regular season minutes for the Clippers, who flat bought him from the Pelicans during the draft, getting most of his experience in the D-League. It should be noted that he was arrested for domestic violence in March but never charged.

Strengths: The physical resemblance to Draymond is obvious: short-ish, chiseled, and with arms for days. Given how little we saw of him, there's no reason to update his pre-draft scouting report. Dawson is an athlete. He's strong and explosive. In Summer League he was a hyperactive menace. I have no feel for NBDL statistics, but 32 steals and 21 blocks against just 48 fouls in 29 games sounds pretty solid for a 3/4 combo player.

Weaknesses: It all starts with his shot, which is basically non-existent. It's funky and it's slow, and it's possible it never gets better. He's purported to be a solid finisher -- see that 51.8% FG rate in the NBDL -- but overall he's sushi offensively.

Future with the Clippers: It's tough to tell with the youngsters, because Doc Rivers never plays them. He only seems to trade them. Dawson isn't young for a rookie -- he's only 6 months younger than Austin Rivers -- and that probably limits his upside. As does the fact that he was drafted 56th overall. Not a lot of productive players last that long in the draft. If you project from the scouting report, you might see a Luc Richard Mbah a Moute replacement. But it seems just as likely that he gets cut or traded for a ready-made veteran.

Best moment(s) as a Clipper:

Let's cheat and just roll his highlight package from Summer League.