HILL, SOUTHERLAND HEADLINE CLIPPERS' PRE-DRAFT WORKOUT
The Clippers, who own the No. 25 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, hosted their first pre-Draft workout Monday morning at their Playa Vista Training Facility.
The group consists of six players, headed by Arizona’s Solomon Hill, a 22-year-old forward from Los Angeles, and James Southerland, a sharp-shooting senior forward from Syracuse. Early-entry candidate Amath M’Baye (Oklahoma), seniors Dexter Strickland (North Carolina) and D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton) and international prospect Jordan Aboudou (Chalon—France) were also in attendance.
Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks and Director of Player Personnel Gerald Madkins were among the Clippers front-office staff observing the hour-and 40-minute workout.
“[We’re looking at] skillset, guys who compete and guys who enjoy being on the floor,” Madkins said. “We want to put them through a strenuous workout but we want to make it fun. We want guys to be enthusiastic about what they do. That sort of separates a few guys from the rest of the group.”
Based on the players on the floor Monday, it was clear the Clippers are focusing on athletic wing players with experience. The five collegiate players played at least three seasons and Aboudou is a 22-year-old swingman from Colombes, France. All six are expected to be perimeter players in the professional ranks.
Madkins said getting younger and more athletic on the wing is an area the Clippers need to address, particularly someone who is defensive-oriented and can shoot the ball.
That’s what made Hill and Southerland the headliners.
Both were invited to the pre-Draft combine two weeks ago in Chicago and have already worked out for other teams, including Southerland working out for the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves last week.
“I want to show them that I can play defense and show my athleticism and that with my size I can stay in front of defenders,” said Southerland, who is widely considered one of the better pure shooters available in this year’s Draft. “Everyone knows I can shoot, but it’s about showcasing those other skills.”
Hill was of a similar mindset. “I think it went pretty good. I competed. A lot of guard play today. I tried to find the open man when possible. I tried to take my lane when possible. I think I finished a couple plays, made a couple of plays for other guys. All-in-all, a lot of it was shooting. We had a lot shooting drills and I think I did pretty good in drills.”
Clippers personnel put each player through individual shooting drills, coming off screens and creating off the dribble among other things. The group also played 3-on-3, where M’Baye, who was added to the workout two days ago, stood out.
“It’s my first team workout, so I was a little anxious,” the junior from Oklahoma said. “My hands were a little sweaty at times, but as I went through it I thought I shot the ball better. I thought I handled the ball better and the 3-on-3 went pretty well. I’m pretty excited about the experience.”
The Clippers will continue working out prospects over the next three weeks, leading up to the June 27 Draft.
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