Check out the Clippers top rookie point guards here.
Check out the Clippers top rookie shooting guards here.
Check out the Clippers top rookie centers here.
Check out the Clippers top rookie small forwards here.
Check out the Clippers top rookie power forwards here.
Choosing the best rookies was a lot easier than picking the worst, or most disappointing rookies. With stats being the main factor, along with what we can remember about a player that might have played a long time ago, it can become difficult to determine just how disappointing a player was. Since we are focusing on disappointing seasons by rookies, only players that were drafted in the 1st or 2nd round were considered, as it would be difficult to call a 5th round pick or undrafted player a disappointment. Of course, the higher a player was drafted, the more that was expected of them, so a high draft pick with better statistics might still be ranked higher on the list that one that was drafted in the late second round.
#3 - Lionel Chalmers (2004-05)
Draft: 2004 2nd Round, 33rd Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats: 3.1ppg, 1.4apg, 34%fg, 25%3pt, 36 games played
After a solid 4 year career at Xavier, capped off with a senior year in which he averaged 17 points and 3 assists per game, Chalmers was the Clippers early 2nd round pick. After having lead Xavier to the Atlanta Regional final in the NCAA tournament, the Clippers felt that his experience would be able to translate into a solid backup roll for the team.
Unfortunately, he never really got the shot to become an NBA player. He only played in 36 games for a total of 433 minutes. It didn’t really help that the team used their 1st round pick on a point guard as well (Shaun Livingston). The biggest contribution Chalmers made in his NBA career was being included in the trade that brought Sam Cassell and a protected 1st round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves. That 1st round pick would become a key piece in the trade that brought Chris Paul to the Clippers, so Chalmers was a piece of a trade that ended up bringing two of the top point guards in franchise history to the Clippers. After the trade, the Wolves released Chalmers, and he never played in the NBA again.
#2 - Terry Dehere (1993-94)
Draft: 1993 1st Round, 13th Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats: 5.3ppg, 1.2apg, 38%fg, 40%3pt, 6 games started
After a great 4 year career at Seton Hall, Dehere was drafted by the Clippers as a potential future starting point guard. His rookie season was filled with inconsistency, and when you look at his game logs, you can see why. Some games he would play big minutes and have a good game, and others he would be unproductive, and be limited in minutes.
Dehere would get 6 opportunities to start during his rookie season, averaging 8 points and 2 assists, while shooting 29% (31% 3pt) in those starts. Those numbers, especially the shooting, just didn’t cut it the biggest disappointment was that Dehere couldn’t provide the shooting in the NBA that he was able to provide at Seton Hall. As a senior, he shot 46% from the field. During his rookie season with the Clippers, he shot 38%.
Dehere would last a total of 4 seasons with the Clippers, with his best season coming in his 3rd year (1995-96), starting 10 games, while playing in all 82. He would average 12 points and 4 assists that year, while shooting a career best 44% from behind the arc, making 139, which became the team record.
Before we get to the number one rookie power forward in LA Clippers history, here are a couple dishonorable mentions:
Willie Warren (2010-11)
Draft: 2010 2nd Round, 54th Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats: 1.9ppg, 1.4apg, 37%fg, 33%3pt, 19 games played
Willie Warren was drafted late in the 2nd round. That alone kept him off the top 3. But he was still a disappointing player in his single NBA season. In what seems to be a recurring factor on this list, it is his shooting that hurt his chances at a career in the NBA. In his 134 minutes played, he made 13 out of 35 shots (37%).
To find out what Warren has been up to since leaving the Clippers, click here.
Mike Taylor (2008-09)
Draft: 2008 2nd Round, 55th Overall, Portland Trail Blazers, traded to the Clippers for 2009 2nd round draft pick (Dante Cunningham)
Key Stats: 5.7ppg, 2.1apg, 41%fg, 33%3pt, 5 games started
The main reason Taylor is on this list is that there was a lack of point guards that qualified for this list. Taylor was in no way a bad player, especially for a late second round pick. In fact, during his rookie season, he showed some potential to become a solid back-up point guard in the NBA.
Taylor would score in double digits in 31 of the 51 games he played in during his rookie season, including a 35 point outburst against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
I think anyone who was a Clippers fan back in 2009 remembers that game. That was a game that had every Clippers fan feel like Taylor could become the future at point guard for the team.
But as good as Taylor played that game, the biggest disappointment was his inconsistency. He had a difficult time stringing together good games. That struggle is probably what kept him from sticking in the NBA. His rookie year with the Clippers was his only one in the NBA.
#1 - Randy Woods (1992-93)
Draft: 1992 1st Round, 16th Overall, Los Angeles Clippers
Key Stats: 1.7ppg, 1apg, 35%fg, 21%3pt, 1 game started
Randy Woods came into the NBA as a high scorer, having averaged 27 points per game in his junior year at LaSalle. But a look at his junior year show that he was more than just a scorer. He also averaged 5 assists and 6 rebounds per game.
The main thing that hurt Woods rookie season was the fact that the Clippers had two solid point guards on the roster, starter Mark Jackson, and backup Gary Grant. This would limit his opportunity for playing time. But when he did play, he didn’t help his case, and it was his shooting that hurt him the most. In his limited minutes, he only shot 35% from the field, and 21% from three, while averaging 1.7 points per game.
Woods would last with the Clippers for 3 seasons, never really taking that next step to become an NBA player. He would eventually be traded to the Nuggets, along with Antonio McDyess, for Rodney Rogers and Brent Barry in 1995. After the trade, he played 72 minutes for the Nuggets before being waived, and never playing again in the NBA.
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 3 most disappointing rookie shooting guards in LA Clippers history.