Los Angeles Clippers 2021 NBA Draft Grades For Every Pick
The Los Angeles Clippers entered this year’s NBA Draft with only one draft selection but managed to end the day with three new draftees. Thanks to a couple of trades and signings at the end of the night, the Clippers were able to acquire Keon Johnson, Jason Preston, and BJ Boston.
Overall, it was a good night for the Clippers given that they didn’t have lottery picks but they still managed to select these three rookies. Now, it’ll be up to Johnson, Preston and Boston to prove their worth for the Clippers. To get some sort of preview on LA’s new players, here are the draft grades for every pick:
Keon Johnson: A
It seemed like the Clippers really wanted Tennessee’s Keon Johnson after finding a way to trade with the New York Knicks for the 21st pick. The Clips, who gave up the 25th pick and a 2024 second-round pick, acquired a 19-year-old shooting guard best known for his athleticism. He adds youth and pop to this current Clippers squad. In college, Johnson was noted for his ability to drive to the rim, his defense, and physicality to play through contract—all of which would benefit the Clippers right away.
Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine coverage: 3:00pm/et Thursday on ESPN2! 📺 pic.twitter.com/q6WqyWkOHL
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) June 24, 2021
Teams like the Clippers probably chose rookies who can contribute right away especially with Kawhi Leonard’s injury and their window with Paul Goerge right now. Johnson did after all say that he molded his game after Leonard and if ever the latter decides to resign with the Clippers, the rookie might just be lucky to have him as a mentor. Now, it’ll be up to Johnson if he can contribute to Los Angeles.
"I model my game after Kawhi Leonard." – Keon Johnson (@iamkeonjohnson) 🔥
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) July 29, 2021
Brandon “BJ” Boston Jr.: A-
Not long ago, Boston was expected to be chosen early in the draft but the Clippers managed to snag for the 51st pick. Boston is a five-star recruit that played for Kentucky from Southern California basketball powerhouse Sierra Canyon in 2019. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a game with the Wildcats in his first year. It wasn’t superstar potential numbers but given what he’s shown in Sierra Canyon, Boston still has untapped potential.
He can score, knock down shots, and has the potential to be a playmaker. He can put together multiple dribble crossovers to create space and has the ability to defend as well. To learn more about his skills or what he can do, it’s best to watch his highlights back in high school as well. Boston may have fallen in this year’s draft but nevertheless, this was still a good pick for the Clippers who are probably betting on Boston’s potential.
Jason Preston: A+
It seemed like the Clippers really wanted Ohio guard Jason Preston after finding a way to once again trade their way to make this pick. Preston’s story is interesting because just a few years ago, he was a fellow journalist/blogger, writing about the Detroit Pistons. Now, he’s a Clipper and is expected to contribute to his new team. Preston averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in his final season in Ohio and was a huge part of their offense.
Preston can pass the ball, attack the basket and can catch and shoot fairly well. His game still needs improvement but the Clippers have done a good job improving their rookies and young players over the past couple of years.