Why the Clippers Should Try to Buy a Second-Round Pick

Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brice Johnson (North Carolina) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number twenty-five overall pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With no picks in the first or second round of the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers should attempt to purchase a second-round pick from any team that’s willing to sell. The Clippers were in a comparable situation in the 2015 NBA draft when ended up buying the draft rights of Branden Dawson, who the New Orleans Pelicans drafted with the 56th pick, for cash considerations of 600,000 dollars. Dawson’s time in Los Angeles didn’t pan out and he spent most of the season either never seeing time on the bench or in the D-League, ultimately getting waived last summer.

Some may argue that buying a pick would be foolish since the drafted player would never get a chance to see the floor like with Dawson, but the Clippers’ recent addition of a D-League team for the 2017-2018 season provides the team with a whole new element. Instead of signing the player that is drafted with the second-round pick (If Los Angeles even finds anyone looking to sell one) to an NBA contract and having them spend most of their time on the bench or playing small stints in the D-League, the Clippers now have another choice.
The D-League’s “Draft Rights” player rule allows teams to sign a drafted player to a D-League contract and stash them on their affiliated D-League team. The draftee’s status as a draft rights player supersedes any other NBA D-League player rights which means he bypasses the D-League’s player selection process and will automatically play for the NBA team’s affiliate. So if the Clippers’ draft a second-round player and invoke the “Draft Rights” player rule, the draftee will automatically be assigned to play for the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.

This allows the Clips to “draft and stash” a player with the Agua Caliente Clippers so they can further develop and maybe even procure a roster spot in the future. The D-League’s 2016 Rookie of the Year, Abdel Nader, was signed out of Iowa State by the Boston Celtics with the 58th pick. With a plethora of young players already with the team, the Celtics used the “Draft Rights” rule to send Nader to their D-League affiliate in Maine. With only a few young players on the Clipper’s roster, the team should do everything in its power to acquire some young talent to stash in Ontario in preparation for the future. Keep an eye out for Los Angeles to work out some players that are projected to go in the late second round or end up undrafted.

Noah Shatzer
In addition to writing for Popgates.com, Noah is also a weekly contributor to GM Hoops. He hasn't missed a Clippers game the past two seasons but desperately misses Byron Mullens and his goofy facial hair.