Clippers win draft lottery
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.
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.