Los Angeles Clippers 2005 Draft Preview
(Sports Network) – What is it going to take to get the Los Angeles Clippers
into the playoffs? The Clippers finished the 2004-05 campaign with a 37-45
record, and missed qualifying for the postseason for the eighth straight
Forward Elton Brand and guard Corey Maggette are the team’s two best players.
The 26-year-old Brand averaged 20 points and a team-best 9.5 rebounds, while
Maggette led the club in scoring (22.2 ppg) in 66 games played. Brand and the
25-year-old Maggette make the Clippers a formidable opponent.
Guard Shaun Livingston, who was the fourth overall selection of the 2004 NBA
Draft, played in just 30 games during his rookie campaign. The 6-7 point
guard, who averaged 7.4 points and five assists in 2004-05, will be counted on
heavily in his second year in the league. He will get the chance to start and
will play a lot of minutes.
The team has invested a lot of money in Brand and Maggette, while Livingston
is expected to be the Clippers’ point guard of the future. Center Chris Kaman
and forward Bobby Simmons also have a place in the equation. Simmons averaged
16.4 points and 5.9 boards in 75 games and was named the NBA’s Most Improved
Player. Kaman played in 63 contests and registered 9.1 points and 6.7 boards
Forward Chris Wilcox and guard Marko Jaric, who could decide to sign elsewhere
via free agency, are also solid players for the Clippers.
The Clippers have the 12th overall pick and will select the best player
available. If North Carolina’s Rashad McCants is still around he could
be the perfect fit for this squad.
Key Player(s): Elton Brand (Forward), Marko Jaric (Guard), Chris Kaman
(Center), Shaun Livingston (Guard), Corey Maggette (Guard), Bobby Simmons
(Forward), Chris Wilcox (Forward).
Team Needs: An outside shooter.
Draft picks: 1st round (12th overall), 2nd round (32nd overall).