Best draft picks in Los Angeles Clippers history, ranked
Despite having zero championships to boast, the Los Angeles Clippers have had some of the most explosive players star for the club throughout its history.
What’s even more impressive is that the Clippers have shown a knack for drafting good players, even if they eventually weren’t able to keep the guy for his whole career.
For this piece, we’ll rank the best draft picks in Clippers franchise history, starting off with a player who revolutionized the swingman position and was ahead of his time.
6. Lamar Odom
The Clips selected Odom with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 draft. The talented lefty averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his first year en route to the 2000 All-Rookie team.
At 6-foot-10, Odom had point guard skills. He was a matchup nightmare for the Clippers and it would have been a lot of fun to watch him play in this small-ball era of basketball.
Lamar finished his first stint with the Clippers with averages of 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent in the summer of 2003.
Odom wound up winning two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, all while winning the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Lamar played one more season with the Clippers in 2012-13 before leaving the NBA. His pro career ended with averages of 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
5. Danny Manning
Manning was the first overall pick in the 1988 draft after dominating the college ranks at Kansas. During his rookie season with the Clippers, Manning averaged 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in just 26 games.
Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in his right knee.
The following season, Manning appeared in 72 games, but he was mostly coming off the bench. The Mississippi native put up 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds after healing from his ACL injury.
Manning finished his Clippers career with averages of 19.1 points and 6.4 rebounds. He was a two-time All-Star as well.
The Clippers traded Manning to the Atlanta Hawks for Dominique Wilkins in 1994. For what it’s worth, Danny scored the seventh-most points in franchise history.
4. DeAndre Jordan
When the Clippers drafted Jordan with the 35th overall pick in the 2008 draft, no one saw DJ becoming the All-Star player he is today.
Jordan averaged just 6.7 points and 6.6. rebounds through his first 351 games with the Clippers. His career, though, took off during the 2013-14 campaign when he put up 10.4 points and led the league in rebounding at 13.6 boards per game.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jordan formed “Lob City” in Los Angeles. The team was always really fun to watch in the regular season, but the Clippers never got past the second round of the playoffs in the Paul-Griffin-Jordan era.
DeAndre finished his Clippers career with averages of 9.4 points and 10.7 rebounds. He’s the franchise leader in games, rebounds and field goal percentage. Jordan is also eighth in scoring.
3. Bob McAdoo
The Buffalo Braves drafted McAdoo with the second overall pick in the 1972 draft. To recall, the Clippers used to be the Braves. They were also the San Diego Clippers before their move to L.A.
McAdoo won the 1973 Rookie of the Year Award, putting up 18.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
From 1974-1976, McAdoo led the league in scoring. He put up 32.1 points over a span of 234 games. He was also a three-time scoring champion with the Braves.
The Braves traded McAdoo to the New York Knicks in December of 1976, finishing his Braves/Clippers career with averages of 25.4 points.
McAdoo, who was named a Hall of Famer back in 2000, is the Clippers’ third all-time leading scorer with 9,434 points.
2. Randy Smith
The Braves took Smith with the 104th pick of the 1971 draft and watched him turn into the most prolific scorer in franchise history.
Smith finished his Braves/Clippers career with averages of 18.4 points. He also owns the record for the most points in franchise history with 12,735.
Smith made two All-Star games with the Braves, winning the All-Star Game MVP Award in 1978. San Diego, however, wound up trading him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1980.
1. Blake Griffin
Griffin’s NBA career got off to a bad start. The Clippers selected Blake with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. However, Griffin missed his entire rookie season after undergoing knee surgery.
When Griffin made his NBA debut for L.A. in 2010-11, he was one of the best shows in the league. The high-flyer was dunking on EVERYBODY and made being a Clippers fan cool again.
Griffin averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds and won the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award easily. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest after jumping over a Kia sedan.
Blake is arguably the best player in Clippers franchise history. He finished his career with the team averaging 21.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. Injuries and stuff behind the scenes with Paul prevented the Lob City Clippers from winning a title, but Griffin’s time with the team was undoubtedly one of the most fun times to watch the Clippers.
Griffin finished his L.A. career with 10,863 points. He’s second in franchise history in points and third in rebounds.