Nothing has been easy for the Los Angeles Clippers. Here are the 15 best draft picks the team has made dating back to their days as the Buffalo Braves.
While they are rapidly approaching 50 years as a professional basketball franchise, no, the last half century has not been kind to the Los Angeles Clippers. Originally founded as an expansion team in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, the Braves/Clippers did not win their first division title until 2013. Let’s just say there were a lot of lean years from their eight in Western New York, their six in Southern California as the San Diego Clippers and their tenure in Los Angeles beginning in 1984.
That being said, the Braves/Clippers have had the luxury of picking some pretty impressive players in NBA Drafts over the last five decades. However, only one of them has earned enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. That would be center Bob McAdoo, and he was terrific starring in Buffalo for the Braves.
Of course, there will be potentially a few more players to earn Springfield enshrinement that have played for the Clippers recently. Lob City may be a thing of the past, but it was the peak for this otherwise downtrodden basketball franchise historically.
So what we are going to do today is rank the 15 best players the Braves/Clippers have ever drafted. Let’s keep in mind that a few Clippers greats like Chris Paul and Elton Brand began their basketball careers elsewhere. The franchise has often traded draft picks to other clubs like the former Seattle SuperSonics on multiple occasions.
Without further ado, here are the 15 players that had the most success with the Braves/Clippers after the franchise had drafted them.
Before embarking on an NBA career in the 1990s, point guard Terry Dehere was an outstanding player in the Big East. He was the star point guard for P.J. Carlesimo’s Seton Hall Pirates. At Seton Hall, Dehere was a three-time All-Big East first team player, the 1993 Big East Player of the Year and a second-team All-American in his senior season in South Orange, New Jersey.
The Clippers would take Dehere with the No. 13 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He would play four of his six NBA seasons with the team that drafted him. In four years with the Clippers, Dehere would average 8.9 points and 2.7 assists per game in 18.7 minutes per contest. Dehere was largely the team’s backup point guard during his first four years in the league.
During the summer of 1997, Dehere would be waived by the Clippers before signing with the division rival Sacramento Kings ahead of the 1997-98 NBA season. Dehere would play only four games with the 1998-99 Kings before being waived a second time. He would sign a 10-day contract with the then Vancouver Grizzlies before playing out his last NBA season that spring.
Overall, Dehere is best remembered for his on-court brilliance in college at Seton Hall. His alma mater has his No. 24 jersey retired. Dehere finished his half-decade NBA career averaging 8.0 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. This would be a forgettable draft pick for many NBA teams, but sticking with the Clippers for four years has Dehere cracking the top-15.