NBA Draft: 13 times the LA Clippers left stars on the board

LA Clippers NBA Draft Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
LA Clippers NBA Draft Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

9. 1995 NBA Draft

Clippers Select: Antonio McDyess (2)

Still on the Board: Jerry Stackhouse (3), Rasheed Wallace (4), Kevin Garnett (5)

NBA franchises weren’t sure exactly how to rank Kevin Garnett when he became the first player in years to make the jump directly from high school to the draft in 1995. The future Hall-of-Famer ended up slipping to fifth after being passed on by the Warriors, Clippers, 76ers, and Bullets in favor of Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, and Rasheed Wallace.

The Warriors missed the hardest when they selected Joe Smith first overall out of Maryland. The six-foot-ten forward had a long and relatively productive NBA career as a journeyman but could not compare with some of the careers of the players drafted just after him.

McDyess ended up being an All-Star and named to one All-NBA team, but never ended up playing for the Clippers. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets for Brent Barry and Rodney Rogers on draft night.

Instead of that duo the Clippers could have made history and selected Garnett with the first overall pick. There was no question he had the talent at the time, and the talent certainly panned out as he was a 15-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA, 12-time All Defensive team, 2003-04 MVP, 2007-08 Defensive Player of the year, and one of the most intense players in NBA history.

Rasheed Wallace also went on to have a stellar career that featured four All-Star game apperances, and an NBA championship with the Pistons in 2004. His teammate out of North Carolina Jerry Stackhouse burst on the scene in his rookie year in Philadelphia, quickly become one of the unfortunate players to get tagged as the “next Michael Jordan”. While Stackhouse (or anybody else) never quite lived up to that billing, he did end up having a nice career that included two All-Star game appearances and a few seasons where he was one of the most prolific scorers in the league.

The draft even featured future All-Star appearances by later draftees Michael Finley and Theo Ratliff. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Brent Barry or Rodney Rogers.