The starting five all-time draft busts for the LA Clippers

Chris Paul, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Paul, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Clippers draft bust small forward: Yaroslav Korolev

After selecting Shaun Livingston the year before, the LA Clippers drafted Yaroslav Korolev, one of the best forwards in the 2005 NBA draft. His game revolved around his size and ability to maneuver through the paint and get a bucket. Korolev was also a great defender, using his length on the perimeter and around the rim.

At the time, it appeared as if the LA Clippers made the right selection. Korolev was not only 18 years old, but he measured at six-foot-nine, ultimately showing the front office how high his potential could be. He possessed all the tools necessary to thrive at the highest level.

However, Korolev’s touch around the rim did not translate to the NBA. The coaching staff was also part of the reason he did not pan out, as they decided to ease him into his role. While this decision was reasonable with his young age, he was being held back from his true potential.

Furthermore, Korolev’s career only lasted 34 games with the LA Clippers. Throughout his time in the NBA, he averaged 1.1 points while shooting 28.3% from the field and 25.0% from three. These numbers clearly indicate that Korolev was arguably the biggest draft bust in the history of the LA Clippers.

Moreover, the LA Clippers selected Korolev over players like Nate Robinson, David Lee, and even Danny Granger. Had they made the right decision, the roster at the time could have been better positioned to compete with the best teams in the NBA.