Clippers’ Doc Rivers still aiming to enter 2015 NBA Draft


Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) shoots the ball against Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen (3) and forward Justise Winslow (12) during the second half of the 2015 NCAA Men

The Los Angeles Clippers have been working out numerous 2015 NBA draft prospects for weeks now, and Doc Rivers has shown no signs of letting up. In fact, the Clippers worked out five more prospects yesterday, and Lance Stephenson appears to be the first of several additions that will be coming to L.A. this summer.

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Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes have made their departure, which has given the Clippers a new spot on their roster to bring in a new backup big man to support Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. And since acquiring Stephenson — a tough defender who can guard multiple positions and rebound at a terrific rate for being only 6’5″ — Doc Rivers has already addressed a couple of weaknesses.

The Clippers ranked just 15th in defensive efficiency and only 16th in rebounding rate this season. So whilst Stephenson can help in both those areas (especially if a better situation in L.A. can bring him back to his 2013 Pacers’ form) the Clippers still need to take care of their frontcourt.

Glen Davis had a dismal +/- of -14.8 last season, and with the way he slows down L.A.’s dynamic offense and does little in terms of cleaning up the glass (with a rebounding percentage of only 10.5) it’s likely (and necessary) that Doc Rivers looks for someone else to contribute.

Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times has reported Doc’s recent thoughts on the upcoming draft, and whilst he’s expressed that it isn’t essential they acquire a high draft pick, the fact he wants to “get higher in the draft than lower” suggests that he isn’t just going to wait and see if anyone of interest goes undrafted.

We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the Clippers do enter the draft, but now they’ve worked out well over 20 prospects, it looks like Doc Rivers wants to make something happen.

A late second round pick still gives them an opportunity to acquire a big man with some potential, as this year’s draft certainly has plenty of depth available. I’ve already looked at possible draft targets for the Clippers such as Branden Dawson of Michigan State (read here for analysis) and Brad Waldow of St Mary’s (read here for analysis) — both of whom are very worthy of some attention.

What makes Dawson and Waldow even more intriguing is that many mock drafts have projected them to go undrafted (for example, three from CBSSports and another from And seeing as the Clippers aren’t exactly loaded with role players they can use to trade, this still gives them the opportunity to sign some young talent.

Their rebuild is in full motion after trading for Stephenson so quickly, and the draft may be another way to give the Clippers enough depth to contend in 2016.

Next: With Lance Stephenson, the Clippers' growth begins