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2016 NBA Draft Wing Prospects: By the Numbers

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The Clippers have need of players to bolster their bench at the wing positions (shooting guard and small forward), and could look towards the draft to find them. Based on the numbers, who should the Clippers try to draft?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers are probably going to be looking at wing prospects in the 2016 draft-- the biggest hole on their roster is at the small forward position (before free agency anyway). Who they pick is largely dependent on what prospects fall to the 25th or 33rd spot in the draft. But what players should the Clippers have their eyes on? Here is a list of the wing prospects who are in that projected draft range, as well as some assorted college statistics that are relevant to NBA success.

Similarly to my article about advanced stats and college prospects, I averaged the players' numbers over their last two years in college. I also didn't account for per/40 minute statistics; if a college player is good enough to play in the NBA, he will usually get minutes to match. This is what I found:

Players

Age

PPG

RPG

APG

SPG

TS%

Taurean Prince

21.7

14.9

5.9

1.8

1.4

0.554

Malik Beasley

19.4

15.6

5.3

1.5

0.9

0.583

DeAndre Bembry

21.8

17.5

7.7

4

1.7

0.525

Patrick McCaw

20.5

12.1

4.2

3.3

2

0.563

Malachi Richardson

20.3

13.4

4.3

2.1

1.1

0.511

Malcolm Brogdon

23.4

16.1

4

2.8

0.8

0.565

Caris LeVert

21.7

15.7

5.1

4.3

1.4

0.586

Wayne Selden

21.6

11.6

3.1

2.6

0.6

0.535

Jake Layman

22.2

12

5.5

1.2

1

0.614

Michael Gbinije

23.9

15.1

4.5

4

1.9

0.548

Dorian Finney-Smith

23

13.9

7.3

1.9

1

0.566

Isaiah Whitehead

21.2

15.1

3.7

4.3

1.3

0.494

As one can see, most of the wing prospects in the Clippers range aren't young: Malik Beasley and Malachi Richardson are the only freshmen on the list. The college stats that seem to better indicate NBA success are rebounds, assists, and steals, so let's take a look at some of the top and bottom performers in each of those categories.

Top 3 rebounds per game: DeAndre Bembry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Taurean Prince

Top 3 assists per game: Caris LeVert, Isaiah Whitehead, Bembry/Michael Gbinije (tied)

Top 3 steals per game: Patrick McCaw, Gbinije, Bembry

This is interesting. Bembry and Gbinije are the only players who show up multiple times, though Prince and LeVert were both close in the steals category. LeVert is lower in the draft mostly because of foot injuries which have plagued him the past couple years, but he would be a nice gamble by the Clippers, as he was viewed as a lottery level talent just five months ago. Gbinije is old, yet has skills, and would be able to contribute to an NBA team right away. Bembry would also be a good pick despite his age and lack of shooting. While he might not fill the "3 and D" role which is becoming the standard for large and athletic wings, his do-it-all abilities should translate well to the NBA.

Here are the bottom performers:

Bottom 3 in rebounds per game: Wayne Selden, Whitehead, Malcolm Brogdon

Bottom 3 in assists per game: Jake Layman, Malik Beasley, Prince

Bottom 3 in steals per game: Selden, Brogdon, Beasley

Yikes. Malik Beasley is ranked as the second best prospect among this group-- yet he is putting up amongst the worst numbers. He is the youngest player on here, but McCaw, only a year older, had substantially more assists and steals, and there is no reason he shouldn't be a better NBA player than Beasley, who is more of a pure shooter. Selden is relatively poor at almost everything, and doesn't even have the benefit of youth. His steal numbers, in particular, are a flashing warning sign that either his basketball IQ or athletic usefulness (what is actually used in games, not combine drills) is severely lacking. Brogdon is older yet, and while he was a good defender and overall player in college, his numbers don't project well: he is probably getting overrated because he scored somewhat more than the others on decent efficiency. And scoring isn't great at correlating with NBA success (especially at a non-astronomical level).

To sum up: There are actually a bunch of very interesting prospects in here, though some of them may not make it to the Clippers at 25 or especially 33. Some of the better projecting players are actually lower down in the draft, and would be considered "reaches" where the Clippers pick. Then again, general consensus can be very wrong at times, and scoring/shooting tends to be overrated coming out of college.

Target: DeAndre Bembry, Patrick McCaw, Caris LeVert

Avoid: Malcolm Brogdon, Wayne Selden