With only five players signed to contract entering the 2010 NBA draft on June 24, the Clippers left themselves a lot of room for growth. They finished their 2009-2010 season ranked 12th in the western conference with an overall record of 32-48, giving them the number eight pick in this year’s draft.
With their first pick, the Clippers acquired Al-Farouq Aminu, a small forward from Wake Forest.
And even though Aminu is only 19, his 6’ 9” 215 pound build helped him average 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds during is 2009-10 season with Wake Forest. The Clippers have high hopes that Aminu can help them reach the playoffs, something they haven’t been able to do since 2006.
After what looked to be a promising first overall draft pick in 2009, Blake Griffin, the 6’10” power forward from Oklahoma, was sidelined for the season with a stress fracture in his left knee, is expected to make his NBA debut this season and help Aminu, lead the Clippers to a playoff berth.
His anticipated presence in the paint could explain why the Clippers looked to draft Aminu and Wesley Johnson from Syracuse, both small forwards. Johnson was believed to be the Clippers first choice, but was taken by the Timberwolves with the fourth pick.
Aminu is undoubtedly the highlight of the draft for the Clippers this time around, but we can’t forget about Willie Warren who was taken by the Clippers in the second round. Warren, a 6’4” point guard from Oklahoma, was the 54th pick overall. He averaged 16.3 points in his sophomore season with Oklahoma and along with Griffin’s presence in the paint, could prove to be a valuable pick.