The Los Angeles Clippers made an interesting — and rather curious — decision selecting Washington shooting guard C.J. Wilcox 28th overall.
Before we get to questioning the choice from the Clippers perspective, let me say that I like, don’t love Wilcox as a prospect. He’s among the best three-point shooters in this class, and has been for all four seasons he’s been in college. Wilcox shot nearly 40% on almost 800 collegiate attempts, and you don’t get there through luck. However, he doesn’t really have many other offensive skills. Wilcox isn’t a good ball-handler, and can’t be counted on to create for others or himself by putting the ball on the deck. He’s a decent lateral athlete as opposed to a good one, meaning that also his first step isn’t great. His NBA role on offense is purely going to be as a catch-and-shoot spot-up guy, and that’s okay. He’ll make the right pass, but he won’t necessarily create for others with his vision.
Defensively, Wilcox has potential to be solid, but he isn’t there yet. He has a 6’9 wingspan that will help him stay in front of people, but the average lateral quickness will prevent him from becoming an elite “3 and D” weapon. Also, he’s pretty much resigned to guarding 2 guards at slightly under 6’5. None of these things are necessarily awful, but in conjunction with the Clippers’ roster it doesn’t make sense.
The reason for that is that they already have a bigger, better, more versatile 23-year-old shooter in Reggie Bullock that they just drafted last season. Bullock is essentially a taller version of Wilcox that has a quicker release and can guard multiple positions. Also, Wilcox is a fairly redundant piece to J.J. Redick (without the offensive versatility) and Jared Dudley. Given that Wilcox is going to be 24-years-old in December, this isn’t a pick for the future. You’re drafting Wilcox to make an immediate impact, and I don’t particularly see how he’s going to be able to do that with this roster. If he gets onto the floor, I like his potential fit with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as a floor spacer.
I just don’t know how he’s going to do that.