Despite losing in five games to the Phoenix Suns this postseason, the LA Clippers have been one of the more successful organizations in the NBA over the past decade. They have the fifth most wins of any franchise since 2010, and their ten postseason appearances over that same time span rank third in the league.
They’ve cultivated an abundance of star talent in recent years, with players such as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George having made multiple All-Star appearances as members of the team.
However, they’ve also missed out on their fair share of elite talent throughout the franchise’s history. Or, in other words, let the elite talent slip through their fingers. Of course, no organization is going to make the perfect decision 100% of the time, but these losses sting.
8 Players the LA Clippers gave up on way too soon:
8: Reggie Bullock
The longtime vet started his career in Los Angeles as the 25th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. However, he was never able to crack the rotation of the 57-win Clippers, averaging just 2.7 points in 9.2 minutes per game across 42 contests.
Bullock was then traded midway through his sophomore campaign at 23 years old, a member of the three-team deal that brought Austin Rivers to the west coast. He spent his next couple of years bouncing back and forth between the NBA and the G League, eventually finding a role as a 3&D player for the Detroit Pistons.
Since then, he’s been able to carve out a role for himself as an off-ball shooter who can also take on some of the tougher defensive assignments the league has to offer. Bullock has stepped up as a rotation player on postseason teams for the Pistons, New York Knicks, and Dallas Mavericks while owning a career 38.4% three-point percentage.
Austin Rivers carved out a solid career for himself and spent his best years with the Clippers, but his shooting and defense never reached the level that Bullock’s did.
While this wasn’t a franchise-altering mistake, it would have been nice to maintain a homegrown role player that theoretically fits perfectly next to their star talent.