The Clippers have taken a center with their first pick in the draft each of the past two years.
The 2021 NBA Draft is tomorrow, so here is one final mock draft roundup of what the Clippers are expected to do with the 25th pick. As was the case last week, the selection is mostly perimeter players but with one notable exception.
McBride is sometimes compared to Patrick Beverley. He’s a tremendously impactful defender at 6’2 who changed games on a regular basis for West Virginia. Offensively, he might not have the juice to be an every-play creator at lead guard, but he’s been a quality off-ball shooter in the past and he can handle the ball when needed. That sounds like a fit on a team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. — Dime
ESPN & Sports Illustrated | Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina
The Clippers might look to add depth at center with a player they can develop into a meaningful contributor in the long haul. Sharpe has helped himself in the pre-draft process, shedding weight, showcasing much better floor-spacing potential than previously advertised, and impressing in private interviews with his boisterous personality. — ESPN
Sharpe’s strong predraft process could culminate with him coming off the board earlier than expected. He’s been tipped as a possible trade-back target for late-lottery teams, which could see him sneak into the top 20, depending on how things materialize. Teams say Sharpe has been terrific on the workout circuit, having improved his conditioning, shot the ball surprisingly well, and impressed in interviews. He has the makings of a reliable role player in the long run, with his ceiling tied to his offensive development and potential as a passer. While not supremely athletic or skilled as a scorer, Sharpe is a highly competitive, high-effort rebounder with more upside than most traditional centers in his mold.
The Clippers have primarily been linked to guards at this spot, but have needs across the board, and have consistently valued toughness and feel in their role players. — Sports Illustrated
CBS Sports | Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU
“Bones” Hyland dominated at the combine, knocking down shots, getting to the cup and providing instant offense. A team looking to add a microwave scorer would do well to look his way in the mid-to-late first round — and the Clippers might be an ideal landing spot to add more shot-making on an already-loaded roster.
Bleacher Report | Isaiah Jackson, PF/C, Kentucky
The Athletic (Sam Vecenie) | Rokas Jokubaitis, G, Zalgiris
A similar pick from the last mock. It’s hard to find genuine early contributors later in the draft, and one avenue open to them given their current contract situation could be to stash a player. Jokubaitis is seen as a strong, creative pick-and-roll guard. He makes live-dribble passes and also has a nice little three-level scoring game off his pull-up repertoire that will translate to playing both on and off the ball. The key for him will be athletic translation and consistently gaining separation, but he plays such an unhurried style of basketball with poise that I think he’ll probably be good on that front to at least carve out a solid bench role in the NBA.
Another avenue that I think makes sense for the Clippers is to trade back into the second round and pick up a couple of picks.
The Ringer | Tre Mann, G, Florida
Without Kawhi Leonard next season, since he’ll be rehabbing whether he stays or goes, the Clippers will be in need of a shot creator. Mann would need to earn minutes as a rookie but he’s a good shooter with a smooth handle.
Yahoo Sports | Quentin Grimes, G, Houston
Grimes was the best player during the NBA draft combine scrimmages, solidifying himself as a first-round pick. He was the leading scorer out of all 39 players who played in the scrimmages and had 27 points (including seven 3-pointers) during one game. Grimes has had strong workouts so far with teams, including the Clippers, Nuggets, 76ers and Thunder.
It is a little concerning to have two outlets linked to the same center, when that position should be the last priority for the Clippers. But other than that, this is an interesting set of players who should fit right into the team’s culture.
Who do you want the Clippers to take in the first round tomorrow?