The 2014 NBA draft took place on June 26 and the Los Angeles Clippers selected C.J. Wilcox, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard with their only pick (No. 28 overall) after they failed to trade the pick. The Clippers were also reportedly trying to put a deal together that would have netted them an additional pick in this year’s draft.
Wilcox played four seasons for the Washington Huskies, who went 17-15 last season while Wilcox averaged 18.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG in his senior season.
At first glance, this pick is kind of puzzling because the Clippers selected essentially the same player they took in last year’s draft when they drafted Reggie Bullock. In addition, the Clippers already have a crowded backcourt that includes Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Bullock.
Bullock never made it into the Clippers’ rotation last season, even though shooting guard Redick missed 47 games due to injuries. Crawford is 35 and he may retire at the end of this season, so the Clippers may be hoping Wilcox steps up and takes Crawford’s place.
Wilcox may have been the best player available when the Clippers’ turn at 28 came up, but they had other needs they should have addressed, namely center. Last season, Ryan Hollins never solidified himself as the backup center, behind DeAndre Jordan. That being said, there wasn’t a real quality center available when the Clippers selected at 28.
Plus, Wilcox was one of the best shooters and one of the better defenders left on the Clippers’ board when their pick came around. His defensive prowess is a big reason the Clippers and head coach/head of basketball operations Doc Rivers decided to take Wilcox. But Wilcox can also shoot and that should help spread the floor, which should allow Paul to operate the PG position even more efficiently.
Wilcox made 301 three-pointers in his four years at Washington, a Huskies record and good for sixth all time in the Pac-12. The Clippers finished 22nd last season in 3-point percentage — Wilcox should help improve that. Wilcox is also one of only three players in Pac-12 history with at least 1,800 points, 275 three-pointers and 400 rebounds.
Wilcox can shoot the ball while coming off screens, as a standstill shooter, or off the dribble. He’s not only a shooter though; he knows how to move without the ball. While he wasn’t the best athlete in the draft, he is an above-average athlete.
Chances are Wilcox is never a superstar in the NBA, but he could easily be an impact player for the Clippers.