What draft prospects do the LA Clippers see?
For the first time since 2019, the LA Clippers will have their own pick in the first-round draft. The Clippers’ front office has been aggressive on draft night in previous years, often looking to buy a first-round pick, but this year the 25th pick in the draft is already theirs.
While the Clippers obviously won’t draft in the lottery, there is often a lot of hidden talent at the end of the first round. NBA teams are currently conducting pre-draft practice sessions with prospects they have their eyes on, and three different players have publicly confirmed they have worked for the Clippers.
The first prospect who confirmed his training with the Clippers via Instagram was Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland of Virginia Commonwealth. Hyland is a 6’3 “goaltender and in 24 games last season averaged 19.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.1 APG and 1.9 SPG, while shooting 44% from the field. and 37% deep. Hyland’s 2021 campaign earned him the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year Award. The honor was well deserved, as Hyland led his conference in PPG, while also finishing 2nd in interceptions per game.
The second player to confirm taking part in a pre-draft training session for the Clippers was 6’5 G / F Kyree Walker. In April 2020, Walker announced he would forgo college and pro basketball in order to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Walker said he not only worked for the Clippers, but that he had also had a full conversation with Jerry West. Walker announced on Twitter that he was very happy with his performance during his training for the Clippers.
The latest draft prospect that would have worked for the Clippers is Duke’s Matthew Hurt. In 24 games last season, the 6’9 “forward averaged 18.3 PPG on an incredibly efficient score of 55.6% on the field and 44.4% at depth. Hurt won a plethora of accolades for his 2020-2021 campaign, including the ACC Most Improved Player Award, All-ACC 1st Team Honors and the 2021 Midseason Wooden Award.
With the recent announcement that Kawhi Leonard could potentially miss the start of next season, the Clippers being able to draft a contributing player to this year’s draft would be a major luxury. If the players they’ve picked are any indication of their draft goals, the Clippers will likely be looking to draft the player most ready for the NBA with the 25th pick.