2014 NBA Draft: Los Angeles Clippers Make Confusing Pick in C.J. Wilcox
Perhaps the pick was made with a trade in mind, but with none reported, one can only assume the Clippers took the player they wanted with the 28th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. If so, the Clippers have simply added another player to a role where they really didn’t need any help.
Wilcox’s best possible contribution to the Clippers is as a shooter. He was the leading scorer for the Huskies this past season, averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting nearly 40 percent from three-point range, and an impressive 87 percent from the free-throw line. He hit 90 three-pointers for the season and got up 230 outside shots, so he wasn’t shy. He also got to the line about four times per game, which indicates that he could be valuable going to the basket on the dribble.
But consider that J.J. Redick is in that shooting guard role, and presents many of the same qualities as Wilcox, with a good deal of NBA experience to back it up. Jamal Crawford can also play 2-guard for Los Angeles, if he’s around next season.
And then there’s Reggie Bullock, who the Clippers drafted 25th overall last year out of North Carolina. Bullock is a 6-7 shooting guard and he averaged less than 3 PPG last season, never started a game, and only appeared in about half of them.
So where does that leave Wilcox? Will have a rookie season similar to that of Bullock?
That’s probably a question the Clippers should have answered before they drafted Wilcox. He has the talent and length to be an NBA player, though at 195 pounds, he could stand to build a bit of muscle if he’s going to try and drive the lane in the NBA. But putting him in the mix with the Clippers, a team that could have used more frontcourt depth to try and get over the hump in the double-tough Western Conference, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Unless the Clippers drafted Wilcox in order to trade him later for more suitable help, it’s fair to question exactly what Los Angeles was thinking making this pick.