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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Stephen Curry James Harden
Stephen Curry James Harden (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

5. 2009 NBA Draft

Clippers Select: Blake Griffin (1)

Still on the Board: James Harden (3), Stephen Curry (7)

While the Clippers still drafted a superstar and franchise centerpiece in Blake Griffin, they technically did leave two future MVPs in James Harden and Stephen Curry on the board to do so.

We still say Griffin was the right pick for them at the time. But if you’d want to argue differently, we’d be willing to listen.

Griffin was the consensus number one overall pick going into the draft. After missing his first season due to injuries he was named the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year and has enjoyed a stellar career since. He’s been named an All-Star six times, is a five-time All-NBA team member, and at his peak was arguably one of the top five players in the NBA.

This is in no way a miss for the Clippers but the pedigrees of the players left on the board need to be mentioned.

Curry is also a six-time All-Star with six All-NBA teams under his belt as well. He is a two-time NBA MVP, the 2015-16 scoring champ, and a three-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors. He’s also the poster boy for the new-look NBA, where small-ball and three-point shooting rule, and one of the most popular players the league has seen in years.

Harden is an eight-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA team member, and the 2017-18 MVP. He’s also a two-time scoring champ and the 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year. He has also helped shepherd the game into the three-point era with Houston and their innovative (and sometimes frustrating) style of play.

Things would have certainly been different in Los Angeles if they would have drafted Curry or Harden over Griffin in 2009. Instead of the “Lob City” era we might have gotten the “Bombs Away” Clippers. Or maybe the league as we know it would look completely different.