1. Know the Prospects
The Clippers have been conducting workouts and interviews for the last two months, as well as traveling around the country to see prospects at pro days. They've also spent longer--sometimes years--scouting individual prospects, investigating their backgrounds, and watching their games to prepare for today. Here are some breakdowns of players in the Clippers' range:
Four potential sliders: Denzel Valentine, Timothe Luwawu, Domantas Sabonis, and Taurean Prince
Point Guards: Gary Payton II, Tyler Ulis, Demetrius Jackson, Dejounte Murray
Shooters: Furkan Korkmaz, Malik Beasley
NCAA Wings (part 1): Patrick McCaw, DeAndre Bembry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Malcolm Brogdon
NCAA Wings (part 2): Wayne Selden, Caris LeVert, Malachi Richardson, Sheldon McClellan
International Wings: Paul Zipser, Juan Hernangomez, Isaiah Cordinier
International Forwards: Petr Cornelie, Guerschon Yabusele, Rade Zagorac
Forwards: Jake Layman, Ben Bentil, Thon Maker
International Centers: Ante Zizic, Ivica Zubac, Zhou Qi
NCAA Big Men (part 1): Brice Johnson, Cheick Diallo, Damian Jones
NCAA Big Men (part 2): Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, A.J. Hammons
NCAA Big Men (part 3): Chinanu Onuaku, Prince Ibeh, Robert Carter
2. Know the Draft Order
Between the Clippers' efforts to move up, and other teams' inevitable moves, the trades at the top will have a lot to do with who the Clippers end up with. Moving into the teens could be the difference between grabbing a long-term contributor instead of a player who will wash out after his rookie deal. If teams with multiple picks (Denver, Philly, Boston) stay in their slots, they could gamble on projects, leaving Clipper targets on the board--but if they flip their picks to other contenders, the Clippers could watch their targets go to their competitors.
3. Know Who to NOT Pick
This draft has as much to do with who the Clippers shouldn't like as it does with who the Clippers should like. If players that they shouldn't like go early, it's a great sign for players that the should like dropping. A lot of the "shouldn't like" guys are fine prospects--just not for the Clippers' needs. Right now, if these names get called above of the Clippers, I'll be happy, because it means targets are sliding:
Malik Beasley, Dejounte Murray, Malachi Richardson, Cheick Diallo, Thon Maker, Zhou Qi, Juan Hernangomez, Georgios Papagiannis
Some other names would make me happy, too--I like Patrick McCaw in the second round, but if he goes in the teens, it helps Taurean Prince drop to 25. Same goes for guys like Malcolm Brogdon, Chinanu Onuaku, Ivica Zubac, and more.
4. Know Who to Pick
Finally, when the Clippers end up on the clock, who do we want them to select? There are so many names in circulation right now (especially at 33) that I can't rank them all for you, but generally we like these names at 25: Taurean Prince, DeAndre Bembry, Demetrius Jackson, Brice Johnson, Ante Zizic, and Timothe Luwawu.
Keep up with @LucasJHann, @ClipsNationSBN, and ClipsNation.com during the draft as the board narrows.
5. Watch with Fans
You don't want to be sitting on your couch alone, watching the draft and having no idea what's going on as you scroll through twitter. Instead, come meet those people you'd be tweeting at: Clips Nation is hosting an NBA Draft Viewing Party at Joey's Smokin' BBQ in Torrance today. Check that link for all the info--come any time you can, for as long as you can, and get 20% off.