2015 NBA Draft: Breaking down the Clippers’ top targets

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Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) grabs a rebound against Duke Blue Devils forward Amile Jefferson (21) in the first half of the 2015 NCAA Men

We’ve already broken down various 2015 NBA draft targets for the Los Angeles Clippers, but with the big night just hours away, it’s time to recap the players who they’ve worked out and may look to target.

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Now that the Clippers have already acquired Lance Stephenson as a defensive/rebounding upgrade to their core of wing players, Doc Rivers needs to address the issue of his frontcourt. Because with Spencer Hawes’ departure (even though he never made much of a positive difference) Glen Davis has become the Clippers’ primary backup big man. Which, considering the fact he had a -14.8 +/- this season, is hardly going to do L.A. any favours.

However, whilst Doc will hopefully look to improve his shallow frontcourt, there have been guards that have caught his attention during the offseason as well. The Clippers have worked out 31 NBA prospects so far (listed here by Lucas Hann of Clips Nation) including a combination of guards, forwards and centers. So, in order to prepare for tonight’s draft, here’s a look at the best players that the Clippers may target in the 2015 NBA draft if they can trade for a pick as Doc intends to do.

And to start in order of the positions L.A. should address with more urgency, we’ll begin with some big men:

Nov 21, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Dekker (15) attempts to move ball around Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes (22) at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Power forward Richaun Holmes of Bowling Green

DraftExpress have projected Holmes to be selected 49th by the Washington Wizards, and if he does indeed drop to the bottom half of the second round, the Clippers may have a shot at trading for a pick that late in the 2015 NBA draft. Simply because a late second round pick doesn’t always carry a great deal of value to many teams. That being said, Holmes is a notable player that could be a good fit for a Clippers team in need of defense and rebounding.

Even though he produced a very respectable 14.7 points per game this year (on 56.3 percent shooting, too) the real ways in which Holmes can be beneficial to L.A. are through the interior presence he could offer from the bench. That is, if Doc would actually be kind enough to give him some playing time.

This season, Holmes put his muscular, 6’10”, 243 lbs frame to practice by averaging 8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He ranked 1st in the Mid-American Conference in block percentage (11.2), defensive rating (92.7), player efficiency rating (30.4), effective field goal percentage (59.4) and even ranked second in win shares (5.1).

Holmes’ defensive impact is impressive enough, and the way he dominated his Conference in so many categories certainly gives an indication of his potential. On top of that, he can also post-up from time to time with a solid hook shot and his ability to finish through contact.

He’s even got a lot of explosiveness for a man of his size, with a surprisingly good vertical of 36 inches. So when considering all his physical attributes and especially his defensive presence, he may just be the top power forward available late in the 2015 NBA draft for the Clippers to select.