Despite having different histories in terms of the number of seasons and championships won, both Los Angeles teams the Lakers and Clippers have one thing in common. They had the same number of first draft picks – three. Though the Purple & Gold were more successful with their choices. Let’s take a look at who were the Clippers’ number one picks so far.
In 1988 it was the first time for the Clippers when they had the top draft pick. They chose Danny Manning, a 6’10” power forward, who spent a solid six seasons with the team. He averaged 19.1 points per game during those years. Manning was a two-time NBA All-Star in 1993 and 1994.
Ten years later, in 1998, the Clippers had another opportunity to be the first team to make a draft pick. This time it didn’t go that well. Michael Olowokandi, a seven-footer center out of Pacific Tigers, was the number one pick. Despite high hopes, he failed to live up to the expectations. During five seasons in Los Angeles Olowokandi averaged 9.9 points and 8 rebounds per game. His best season was in 2002-03 when he averaged 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game for the Clippers.
Again, almost ten years after drafting Olowokandi the Clippers were awarded another first pick. In 2009 they made the obvious choice by drafting Blake Griffin. Though the Clippers had to wait one season before the highlight-reel power forward made his NBA debut. During the last Summer League game, Griffin injured his knee. He was diagnosed with a stress fracture and had to take a surgery which ruled him out for the whole season. Griffin spent 8 seasons in Los Angeles before getting shockingly traded to the Pistons. During the time with the Clippers, he averaged 21.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference