Blake Griffin Set to Bust? Looking Back at the L.A. Clippers' Disastrous Drafts

General PeppersCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs out to the court before taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

The reason Blake Griffin can't possibly be the best player in this draft is simply this:

The Los Angeles Clippers are incapable of picking the best player.

History has shown us this over and over again. Even if Blake Griffin is the best player in this draft, it is guaranteed to go awry.

Something has to go wrong. This is the Clippers we're talking about here. Blake Griffin's agent is already working on deals for his free agent season—that is, if his body doesn't spontaneously combust before he gets there.

What makes the Clippers draft picks even more hilariously atrocious are when you couple the bad pick with the fact that someone from the same draft at the same position turned out better. To triple the humiliation, they often draft for position instead of drafting the best player, which has lead to them missing histories great superstars.

In lieu of such a monumental occasion, I will countdown the 10 worst Clippers selections of the past 25 years. This should be fun.


Number 10: Lamar Odom over Shawn Marion

This pick slides in at the number 10 position. Marion is better than Odom—yes, but what makes this pick the number 10 is L.A's inability to get a well-known marijuana smoker under control. He came into the league with "problems".  As if the Clippers didn't already have enough of those guys.

So coincidentally, they just let him go as a free agent in 2001.


Number 9: Yaroslav Korolev over Danny Granger

The Clippers didn't get the memo that the whole "foreign explosion" was on the downward. This pick gets the number-nine nod because picks 10-20 are often hard to make and lots of other teams passed on the now-superstar Danny Granger.

This pick is the first in the long line of "missing out on guys who played the same position as the one you drafted."


Number 8: Darius Miles over anyone

I contemplated making this number one simply because it's Darius Miles. What knocked it to number eight was the overall weakness of the draft.


Number 7: Lorenzen Wright over Ilgauskas and Jermaine O'Neal

This lands at number seven for two reasons:

A. There were not one, but two guys who played the center position who turned out better than Wright.

B. A little guy named Kobe Bryant was in this draft. Ouch.


Number 6: Chris Wilcox over Amare Stoudamire

Where do you start with a pick this bad. On one hand, we have a perennial bench player, and the other hand contains one of the most explosive big men the league has ever seen. 

The true comedy stems from the fact that passing on Amare Stoudamire is only sixth on this list.


Number 5: Reggie Williams over Scottie Pippen

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Los Angeles Clippers could have derailed Jordan's titles. They could have changed the course of history as we know it. Instead, they passed up on the most underrated player the NBA has ever known—and the rest is history.


Number 4: Lancaster Gordon over John Stockton

Look at this forgotten gem. What makes this pick just so bad is the number three that follows.

Number 3: Xavier McDaniel over Karl Malone

Can you believe it? Of course you can, it's the Clippers!

They could have been the Utah Jazz. They could have changed the entire history of their team so easily. But alas, it was never meant to be.


Number 2: Antonio McDyess over Kevin Garnett

Oh boy. Just look at that pick. Just look. You probably don't believe me, so I'll let you go take a look for yourself. Done? Okay, good.

Now, I hope you're laughing, because a pick this bad can only warrant such a reaction. What makes this pick so hilariously poor is that once again, they play the same position!

The Kobe pick got put quite low because at the time they didn't need a SG. The Clippers needed a PF. They passed on Kevin Garnett.


Number 1: Michael Olowakandi over the 1998 Draft

Pop Quiz:

What do Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Rashard Lewis, and Brad Miller have in common?

All-Star appearances, perchance? Nope, Bibby still hasn't gotten one.

NBA Championships, maybe? Nope, only Paul Pierce.

MVPs, could it be? Nope, only Dirk can say as much.

How about the fact that they were all picked after Michael Olowakandi. In the greatest draft since Jordan's, the Clippers just HAD to find a way to screw it up. They HAD to. It was their God given right! So instead of drafting one in the myriad of fantastic players, they drafted someone who isn't even in the league anymore. Now THAT'S how you draft.


So what does all this mean?

It means Jordan Hill's stock should be skyrocketing at this point.


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