The Los Angeles Clippers head coach/ head of basketball operations Doc Rivers stuck to the best available theory in last thursday’s NBA Draft when he selected 6-foot-5 195-pound shooting guard CJ Wilcox from the University of Washington. Wilcox averaged 18.3 points per game in his senior season with the Huskies, while shooting 45% from the field including 39% from three.
I would consider this pick a relative surprise considering that the two guard position is not one of the spots the Clippers have needs. This selection shows the Clippers expect to get a small forward and reserve big men in free agency(or sign and trade). Wilcox will join the likes of JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford at the shooting guard position for the Clippers.
Not only was this selection surprise to those around the Clippers, it was also a surprise to Wilcox himself who said he had his worst workout with the Clippers as Wilcox told ESPN “I did not feel to confident walking out of there”. But Coach Doc Rivers said he bypassed the workout process, saying that he believed tape is more indicative or a players skills. Adding depth to the Clippers backcourt seems to be a smart move though, as there were stretches last season where JJ Redick, Reggie Bullock, Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul were plagued with injuries.
Wilcox is a pure shooter, he likened himself to Danny Green, Ray Allen, and Rip Hamilton. He can shoot standing still and off the dribble which he proved at Washington when he became the all time leader in three pointers made (301) in Huskies program history. Shooting is his best attribute, but with his long athletic frame he also provides quality defense at the shooting guard position, something the Clippers lack in Redick and Crawford.
When Wilcox met with the media on monday, he talked about the challenge of playing with two established veterans in front of him, and he said he feels prepared for it. The Clippers expect Wilcox to come in each day and work his way into the lineup. If C.J Wilcox can find his stroke and defensive consistency for the Clips’, it could seem that Doc Rivers and company got a steal with the 28th pick.