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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Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport /

11. 1987 NBA Draft

Clippers Select: Reggie Williams (4)

Still on the Board: Scottie Pippen (5), Kevin Johnson (7), Horace Grant (10), Reggie Miller (11)

The big miss here is obviously Scottie Pippen, the Hall-of-Fame forward who at the time was a rapidly-rising prospect out of the University of Central Alabama. Pippen was drafted by the Sonics one pick after the Clippers selected Reggie Williams out of Georgetown and then, of course, traded to the Chicago Bulls where he would become the perfect sidekick to Michael Jordan on some of the greatest teams of all time.

This one triggers plenty of “what if” scenarios to keep the imagination flowing. What if Pippen and Jordan never played together? How many titles would Jordan have eventually won and how would his legacy be different? What if Pippen had the chance to be “the man” on his own team? Would he have been able to handle the pressure or was he better suited as perhaps the greatest number-two of all-time?

In reality, Pippen went on to be a seven-time All-Star and All-NBA player, a ten-time All-Defensive team member, the 1993-94 All-Star game MVP, and a legend who will always be remembered cast in the shadow of Jordan.

The Clippers also passed on future All-Stars Horace GrantMark JacksonKevin JohnsonReggie Lewis, and Hall-of-Famer Reggie Miller.

Williams (the first Reggie off the board in what must be the greatest Reggie draft of all-time) went on to play parts of three seasons with the Clippers before he was traded with Danny Ferry to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ron Harper and future draft picks.