It was a busy day for Los Angeles as they looked for every way to upgrade and restock the team. After their disappointing finish in the playoffs last year, they were determined to make some adjustments.
The Clippers kicked off the draft with a three-team trade which involved trading away Landry Shamet. They walked away from it with an upgrade in Guard Luke Kennard. Kennard is just as good a shooter as Shamet but has the opportunity to be even better. He’s also a great ball handler as well as a potential playmaker. He did miss some time last year due to injury and can become a restricted free agent after next season. However, the hope is he can make a big enough difference to make it worth it.
33rd Pick: Daniel Oturu C (via Knicks)
The Minnesota big man was actually drafted by the New York Knicks who then flipped him over to the Clippers in exchange for a 2023 second-rounder they received from Detroit. Oturu is considered to fit as a traditional center. Through 31 games of his sophomore season, he averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. What’s interesting is he also made 36.5% of his three-pointers. The Clippers still have Ivica Zubac and could still very well re-sign Montrezl Harrell, so drafting Oturu could be seen as a questionable call.
55th Pick: Jay Scrubb G/F (via Nets)
Scrubb was Junior College Player of the Year which earned him the honor of being the first JUCO player to be drafted since 2004. After seeing the Nets draft him just two picks ahead, they, in turn, drafted Reggie Perry and swapped him for Jay Scrubb. Over two seasons at John A. Logan College, he averaged 21 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Analysts have mentioned that Scrubb has the athleticism and body to play at the NBA level, eventually. The biggest strike against him was the level at which he competed. Scrubb will need time to develop before seeing action on the floor.
Both players no doubt have the potential to be key pieces for the Clippers down the line, but both figures to be a work in progress. Trading for Kennard is a risk considering he missed time last season. Despite that, the Clippers showed that they are still keen on competing next year, but have also indicated they want to build for the future as well.