Clippers win draft lottery
Published 2:46 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) — Those longtime losers from Los Angeles were big winners Tuesday night.
The Clippers came across the country for what’s practically an annual spring vacation and are going home with a nice souvenir: the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft.
The Clippers won the draft lottery, moving up from the third-best chance to earn the top pick for the third time, earning the right to draft All-America forward Blake Griffin of Oklahoma, the national college player of the year.
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Memphis vaulted to second and Oklahoma City will pick third.
Sacramento, which had the best chance to win the lottery after finishing with a league-worst 17-65 record, fell to fourth, and Washington dropped from second to No. 5.
The Clippers last had the No. 1 pick in 1998 and, perhaps predictably, blew it, taking eventual bust Michael Olowokandi.
They stand a better chance of getting it right this time if they go with Griffin, who led the nation with 30 double-doubles and 14.4 rebounds per game, while also averaging a Big 12-best 22.7 points as a sophomore.
Clippers president Andy Roeser, who represented the team on the podium, wouldn’t confirm that they will choose Griffin, though they could certainly use a power forward after their former star Elton Brand left before last season as a free agent.