#3 - Eric Bledsoe (2011-12)
Key Stats - 6.7ppg, 3.6apg, 2.8rpg, 1.1spg, 47%fg, 25 games started
In the 32 seasons the Clippers have played in Los Angeles, it's hard to believe that a rookie point guard that averaged 6.7 points and 3.6 assists would be in the top three, but that is exactly where Bledsoe falls. A super athletic point guard out of Kentucky, Bledsoe was forced to be an early contributor for the Clippers after starting point guard Baron Davis went down with an injury, starting 21 of his first 24 NBA games. He would score in double digits in 10 of those 21 starts, while averaging almost 6 assists per game.
After a solid season, the Clippers rookie would make the NBA All-Rookie 2nd team. He would go on to be a key contributor for the Clippers teams that would make the playoffs for the first time since 2006, as a solid backup to Chris Paul. In 2013, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with Caron Butler, for JJ Redick and Jared Dudley.
#2 - Marko Jaric (2002-03)
Draft: 2000 2nd Round, 30th Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats - 7.4ppg, 2.9apg, 2.4rpg, 1.5spg, 40%fg, 32%3pt, 12 games started
To be honest, Marko Jaric wasn't just a point guard during his rookie season. As with many 6'7" players, he got plenty of time as a shooting guard and small forward. On top of that, the Clippers had a pretty good point guard in Andre Miller. But in the end, Jaric's best position on the court would end up being the point, and he showed some good flashes in his rookie season. His best game probably came against the Nuggets in December in which he scored 22 points while getting 6 steals. His best asset was his height, which he used to look over defenders to make passes, and his length, which allowed him to achieve some good defensive numbers.
Jaric would spend 3 seasons with the Clippers before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005 for Sam Cassell and a protected 1st round pick. That pick was a key piece in the trade the Clippers made with the New Orleans Hornets to acquire Chris Paul. Ultimately, Jaric might be best known for his wife, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima.
Before we get to the number one rookie point guard in LA Clippers history, here are a couple honorable mentions:
Jeff Martin (1989-90)
Draft: 1989 2nd Round, 31st Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats - 6.3ppg, .6apg, 2.3rpg, .6spg, 41%fg, 32%3pt, 23 games started
The Clippers of the late 80's and early 90's were not great, and the fact that Martin started 23 games his rookie season would be proof. Martin was actually considered a shooting guard his rookie season, but was thrust into a point guard roll due to injuries to the Clippers point guards. He would start 18 of the final 19 games of the season, and the team would only win 5 of those games.
Keyon Dooling (2000-01)
Draft: 2000 1st Round, 10th Overall, Orlando Magic, traded to Clippers along with Corey Maggette, Derek Strong, and cash for 2006 1st round pick
Key Stats - 5.9ppg, 2.3apg, 1.2rpg, .5spg, 41%fg, 35%3pt, 1 game started
Keyon Dooling was part of a young and exciting Clippers team for the 2000-01 season which won only 31 games. But, that season brought some home to Clippers fans, and Dooling was one of those bright spots.
#1 - Gary Grant (1988-89)
Draft: 1988 1st Round, 15th Overall, Seattle Super Sonics, traded along with a 1989 1st round pick to Clippers for Michael Cage
Key Stats - 11.9ppg, 7.1apg, 3.4rpg, 2spg, 43.5%fg, 23%3pt, 48 game started
Gary Grant, who was known as "The General" was a no-brainer for the number one spot, as his stats blow away all other Clippers rookie point guards. Although the team only won 21 games in his rookie season, it was still an improvement from the previous year, when the Clippers only won 17 games. They also dealt with major injuries, including one that took out fellow rookie Danny Manning for most of the season.
Gary Grant would be a key contributor to the 1991-92 Clippers, which was the first Clippers team to make the playoffs. He also spent 7 seasons with the team, before signing as a free agent with the New York Knicks in 1995.
Do you agree with our list? Is there someone we left out? Let us know in the comments, and check back next week for the top 3 rookie shooting guards in LA Clippers history.