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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Karl Malone (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
Karl Malone (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images) /

12. 1985 NBA Draft

Clippers Select: Benoit Benjamin (3)

Still on the Board: Xavier McDaniel (4), Chris Mullin (7), Detlef Schrempf (8), Charles Oakley (9), Karl Malone (13), Joe Dumars (18), AC Green (23), Terry Porter (24), Michael Adams (66)

The Clippers selected Benoit Benjamin, the seven-foot center out of Creighton, third overall in the 1985 NBA Draft, once again leaving nine future All-Stars on the board, none of which more decorated than Hall-of-Famer Karl Malone.

The Mailman fell to number 13 before he was delivered to the Utah Jazz where he would go on to win two MVP awards, be named an All-Star and to an All-NBA team14 times, make four All-Defensive teams, and eventually become the second leading scorer in NBA history.

Los Angeles also passed on future All-Stars Xavier McDaniel, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, Joe Dumars, AC Green, Terry Porter, and Michael Adams.

Mullin was the second member of the famed “Run TMC” trio the Clippers missed out on drafting. They could have been part of his Hall-of-Fame career that featured five All-Star appearances, four All-NBA teams, and an appearance on the Dream Team.

Dumars also enjoyed a Hall-of-Fame career as a vital member of the Bad Boy-era Detroit Pistons, winning two NBA titles while making six All-Star games and three All-NBA squads, and five All-Defensive teams.

Benjamin played five-plus seasons with the Clippers before being traded to Seattle in 1991 for Olden Polynice and future draft picks. He does hold the interesting distinction of playing in a total of 83 games in the 1995-96 NBA season, which is more than Karl Malone ever played in a single season in his entire career. To be fair, Malone did play 82 games in an incredible ten of his 19 seasons, 81 games in five seasons, and 80 games in another two.

But, who knows what Malone would have achieved without his legendary partner in Utah, John Stockton. Oh, wait…