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NBA Draft 2016: NCAA Wings For the Clippers to Target (Part 2)

Here are some long-shot prospects at the Clippers' biggest position of need.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

In the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, we're going to look at a ton of possible selections for the Clippers.  This time around, we're checking out some potential selections on the wing--where the Clippers have their most dire need roster-wise.  Not all of these players are natural fits at SF, but they're all intriguing prospects, even if they would be best at the SG or PF positions.  Please note that analysis of these players is largely secondhand after reading and watching scout video from a variety of sources (mainly those listed in the tables), and then compiling and summarizing.

Malachi Richardson

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking 37 37 Not 1st Round Not top 45 Not 1st Round 27

The combo wing from Syracuse had a pretty down freshman year overall, but his strong reputation going into college, boosted by some good tournament performances, have him placed firmly in the NBA Draft.  He measured at 6'6.25" in shoes at the combine with a 7' wingspan, which is pretty great size for an off-guard.  He's definitely more of a two than a three at this point, and even though he's an inexperienced and raw freshman, he's already 20.5 years old.

Richardson clearly has the talent to be a good player, but I view him as more of a high-upside long-term prospect than the kind of short-term quality that the Clippers should be looking for deep in the draft.  The question with Richardson is if a player who shot 36.9% from the field can get to an efficient level in the NBA any time soon.  Better shot selection and working on his game will help him get there, but it could still be a significant process to harness Richardson's potential as a long off-guard who can create and defend.

Sheldon McClellan

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking Undrafted 62 Not 1st Round 45 Not 1st Round Not 1st Round

McClellan might be as fringe of a prospect as we'll look at in this series, but I want to do my due diligence, especially with wings.  He had a successful senior year as a scorer for Miami last year, but it was his fifth year in college and he comes into the draft already 23 years old.  He's a very good and comfortable three-point shooter, hitting on 40.6% last season.  McClellan also measured at 6'6.25" in shoes at the combine, but with only a 6'7" wingspan, which, along with his small frame, could limit him to playing shooting guard.

He's a creative creator and scorer off of the bounce, and he's capable of using offensive sets involving screens to free himself up off-ball.  That said, there's some maturity issues as DraftExpress notes his tendency to take bad shots if he hasn't been getting the ball enough.  One thing that's definitely missing is any sort of defensive presence: he didn't do much on that end in college, and his measurable don't project him to be able to grow into any sort of stopper in the NBA.  Overall, I don't think McClellan is the right fit for the Clippers, but his ability as an all-around wing scorer would make him intriguing in other settings.  If he goes undrafted he could very well be the prize of the undrafted free agent crop for summer league/training camp.

Caris LeVert

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking 46 46 Not 1st Round 35 Not 1st Round Not 1st Round

This one's for Clips Nation writer Robert Flom, who shares the U of Michigan connection with LeVert, who's really more of a combo guard than a 3, like many of the prospects on the board this year.  He's 6'7" with shoes and has a 6'10" wingspan, which is pretty good small forward size, but his 191-pound frame definitely doesn't inspire confidence against some of the big, strong wings in the NBA.  LeVert shot a stellar 44.6% from deep in his senior year at Michigan, averaging an all-around impressive 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists.  He creates for himself and others and that ability would likely translate to the NBA, especially in a supporting capacity.

The main two issues with LeVert are his strength and injury history.  While he's a hard worker defensively and has pretty good lateral quickness for his height, his frame is going to cause big issues against wings and he definitely isn't fast enough to stay in front of the quicker guards in the NBA.  His head is in the right place defensively but he'll be physically overmatched in a lot of NBA match-ups at the PG and SF position.  SG is his best bet.  Then comes the injury history, which is particularly troubling for Clippers fans--three left foot injuries in the last few years, which cut out big chunks of his junior and senior years.

If team medical staffs clear LeVert, he's clearly a first round offensive talent, and while the fit is questionable as a Clipper, he's so good when healthy that he might just be worth it at 33, even if it's just to re-trade him for a role player.

Wayne Selden

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking 47 47 Not 1st Round Not top 45 Not 1st Round Not 1st Round

Okay, so I'm reaching again with this one, but I really wanted to do my due diligence.  At 6'5.75" in shoes, with a 6'10.5" wingspan and a solid 232-pound frame, he definitely has the physique to make his case as a slightly undersized SG/SF.  Offensively, he'll be limited to an off-ball player, but he's made strides in his time at Kansas: his three-point shooting crawled up to 38% in his junior season, and he's shown some progress coming off of screens and beating close-outs with pull-ups.

Defensively, Selden hasn't lived up to what you'd expect from his frame.  DraftExpress charts his lateral mobility as "only average", and his all-around defensive game is underdeveloped and supported by a low defensive IQ.  To his credit, he's a hard worker on defense, so with good coaching it's possible that he could better reach the potential that his measurable suggest.  While he's in the 3-and-D role player wing mold, he might need more work to get to that point than other "low-upside" 3-and-D role player wings that are going to be available when the Clippers pick at 33.