2017 Draft Grades Roundup
After heading into the 2017 NBA Draft without a pick, the Clippers ended up making some noise, acquiring the rights to University of South Carolina guard Sindarius Thornwell, the 48th pick, from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for cash considerations.
Here are the Draft Grades from various sports media outlets, along with a brief explanation for each respective grade. Click on each publication’s name to see the full explanations.
We've generally avoided focusing too heavily on stats during this grading process, but Sindarius Thornwell has one so outstanding that we can't resist. During his final season at South Carolina, he emerged as such a stellar two-way player that he led the entire NCAA in NBA Math's total points added metric, narrowly edging out UCLA's Lonzo Ball and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ.
Thornwell can do everything well, whether he's functioning as a bona fide stopper, dishing out assists from a non-traditional position or calling his own number. It's only his age (22) and lack of pedigree that held him back in the draft, since he didn't break out until his senior year.
The Los Angeles Clippers may have unearthed this draft class' biggest gem.
LA Clippers: A+
Don’t sleep on Sindarius Thornwell…He quietly earned SEC Player of the Year honors while leading South Carolina to the Final Four. He is a no-nonsense, throwback player who does everything well.
I already wrote about Sindarius Thornwell’s fit with the Los Angeles Clippers at some length before the draft. With that in mind, the Clippers got a steal with Thornwell at the 48th pick and did not even have to pay the maximum of $3.6 million to acquire his rights.
Thornwell was a spectacular offensive player during his last season in South Carolina. He led the team to a berth in the Final Four. Thornwell also served as both a playmaker and a shooter from the 2-spot.
However, Sindarius Thornwell will almost certainly not be a primary scorer in the NBA. Luckily for the Clippers, he does not need to put up points to be effective. He is a cagey and high-effort defender despite his limited athleticism. Thornwell will be able to effectively guard both wing positions and has the bulk to at least bother big men on switches.
With Jamal Crawford as a bench mainstay, Thornwell can slot onto the opponent’s best scoring threat on the wing. His upside at nearly age 23 is not as high as some players, but his skill-set makes it hard to believe that he will not be able to find a way to contribute to winning basketball.
Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina: Physical, versatile defender. Should be able to contribute right away. Love this kid.
Sindarius Thornwell (48, via trade)
LA has to deal with some massively important free-agency questions this offseason, but if you focus on just the picks here, it was a good night…Thornwell is NBA-ready, both physically and mentally. Solid second-round move.
LA Clippers (via Bucks): SF Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
The Clippers bought this pick, according to The Vertical, and they get the hero of the NCAA tournament. Thornwell might not be an NBA wing unless he shows true range on his jumper, but he's a safe pick who might have the fortitude to make it despite his lack of size.