Unlike in previous years, where Clippers’ picks were met mostly with either apathy or derision by neutral observers, their 2017 draft haul was praised on site after site.
Jack Maloney of CBS gave the selection of Jawun Evans a B and that of Sindarius Thornwell an A-, speaking on them respectively:
“Undersized but strong and versatile point guard. Will have a great tutor in Chris Paul. “
“Physical, versatile defender. Should be able to contribute right away. Love this kid.”
The mothership over at SB Nation gave the Clippers a B, with Ricky O’Donnell stating:
“Juwan Evans drew Chris Paul comparisons all year at Oklahoma State while orchestrating the country’s most efficient offense. Who better to learn from than CP3 himself?”
Jordan Schultz at Yahoo Sports was even more effusive, giving the Clippers an A+!!
“Regardless of where Chris Paul winds up, Jawun Evans is a nice find for the Clippers in the second round. He thrives in pick-and-roll and has a great pace to his game. Really, size is the only knock on the 6-foot, 185-pound guard. Evans, though, is a “professional” point guard who can really go. Don’t sleep on Sindarius Thornwell, either. He quietly earned SEC Player of the Year honors while leading South Carolina to the Final Four. He is a no-nonsense, throwback player who does everything well.”
ESPN was the lowest on the Clippers’ draft, but still gave them a slightly positive grade, with a C+, as Chad Ford commented:
“Evans was a potential first-rounder who struggled in workouts, as his lack of size, length and athleticism hurt him. But in games, his feel and ability to score and distribute shine. He could have a nice career as a backup.
Thornwell is a versatile wing who can handle and score and proved to be a good shooter this year. His lack of elite athleticism lowered his draft stock, but he's a good fit for a veteran team like the Clippers.”
Overall, draft analysts around the NBA stratosphere thought the Clippers made two very smart picks. Clips Nation certainly agrees with them, as most of the praise on Twitter and in comments has been highly positive. I certainly think it was a very good draft (I’d give it an A- personally), and I like both Thornwell and Evans more (relative to where they were drafted) than any Clippers’ pick since Trey Thompkins way back in 2011. My initial thoughts on Evans and Thornwell are here and here respectively. I wasn’t upset at last year’s draft, but I wasn’t super excited either, and this draft has me legitimately happy about what the Clippers did. Let’s hope it turns out as well as we all think it will.
Having slept on it, favorite drafts from last night: Boston, Brooklyn (counting Russell), Clippers, Spurs.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 23, 2017