Jamaal Franklin, No. 25 (Mock Draft)
This confident 2-guard is perfect for Lob City.
by Nima Zarrabi / @NZbeFree
At one point this year, the Clippers were the hottest squad in the League with a monster winning streak and highlights by the minute. They ended up finishing with the best season in team history, winning the Pacific Division before the Grizzles bounced them in round one. Now the test begins for Donald Sterling’s franchise.
Coach Vinny Del Negro’s contract was not renewed in order to help sway free-agent point guard Chris Paul to return. Heading into the free-agent period, the Clips have five players currently under contract: Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. Grant Hill has opted for retirement despite having one more year remaining on his deal while the team holds a player option for shooting guard Willie Green for $1.4 million.
The No. 1 priority for the franchise will be re-signing Paul, who has indicated that he would like to return under the right circumstances—it has been widely reported that he has pushed management to make a trade for Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and for the team to work out an agreement with the Cs to obtain the services of coach Doc Rivers. The teams engaged in heavy negotiations over the past couple of weeks but have been unable to come to an agreement.
“The move for us is to make sure that Chris Paul returns,” Caron Butler says. “And then obviously getting a good coach in there, an X and O guy that can put guys in a position to be extremely successful and take a lot of pressure off Chris so he can close games on a night to night basis and not be worn out when the time comes to bring us home to the Title.”
With a strong core group in place, the Clippers need to find a nice young draft pick to develop in addition to key free agent additions to bolster their roster.
With the 25th pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select…
Jamaal Franklin from San Diego State.
We didn’t think he’d be available this late, so our organization is thrilled with this addition. We’re a bit thin at the guard and forward positions with the pending free agency of Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom. In Franklin, we see a very productive college player—16 points and 9 rebounds per—with heavy upside at the NBA level. He has tremendous athletic ability and has improved the mechanics on his jump shot every season since enrolling at San Diego State.
We like his 6-5 length at the 2-guard position and he will work with our strength and conditioning staff so he can build up from his 190-pound weight. He was a wide receiver and safety in high school, participating in various sports and we like the toughness that comes with that mentality.
Our staff spent a great deal of time with Coach Steve Fisher who says Jamaal is the most competitive player he’s ever coached. He’s a hard worker that has a will to win. We understand that his emotions can get the best of him at times and believe being immersed at our facility, around our veterans on a daily basis will have a positive impact on his growth.
This young man is extremely confident—Coach Fisher wanted to redshirt him as a freshman and he convinced him otherwise. He eventually wound up in the rotation that year, averaging about 3 points per game, playing behind Kawhi Leonard. He still considered putting his named in the Draft that year before his mom convinced him to stay in school.
We’ll have to rein that confidence in a bit but we love his fire. We want to bring Jamaal along slowly and develop him for the long-term and the rookie scale contract at this selection allows us to do so. At this slot, we are looking at a two-year, $2 million guaranteed deal. Knowing his makeup, he will want to compete for minutes immediately, and we think that type of hunger is good for our team.
We strongly considered Cal’s Allen Crabbe for this pick—he is a fantastic shooter and scorer that had a fantastic season in the Pac-12. We believe he will have a nice NBA career. For us, Franklin jumped out on tape. His appearance is a bit unusual—he wore a baggy shirt under his jersey similar to James Harden when he was at Arizona State, but Franklin actually wears a long-sleeve shirt!
His athleticism and creativity at times are breathtaking. In a game against Fresno State in January, he dribbled up the court in transition and threw the ball a few steps in front of the three-point line, off the backboard to himself for a dunk. It was one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen in a college basketball game. He is a perfect fit for lob city.
With this pick secure, we hope to sign CP3 and a new coach in the coming weeks, solidifying a competitive core group for years to come.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Cavs||Otto Porter||16||Celtics||Mason Plumee|
|2||Magic||Nerlens Noel||17||Hawks||Lucas Nogueira|
|3||Wizards||Anthony Bennett||18||Hawks||Tony Mitchell|
|4||Bobcats||Ben McLemore||19||Cavs||Sergey Karasev|
|5||Suns||Victor Oladipo||20||Bulls||Gorgui Dieng|
|6||Pelicans||Trey Burke||21||Jazz||Ricky Ledo|
|7||Kings||CJ McCollum||22||Nets||Dennis Schroeder|
|8||Pistons||Michael Carter-Williams||23||Pacers||Reggie Bullock|
|9||TWolves||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||24||Knicks||Nate Wolters|
|10||Blazers||Shabazz Muhammad||25||Clippers||Jamaal Franklin|