Clippers Trade For Rights To Michineau, Stone
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers got the guy they wanted in the first round, then took a chance in the second.
With multiple players they liked on the board still available with the No. 33 overall pick, they traded the rights to Kansas forward Cheick Diallo to the Pelicans to grab the No. 39 and 40 overall picks, which were used on French point guard David Michineau and Maryland Center Diamond Stone, respectively.
“We really liked both guys,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “The way the draft worked out, we took a gamble. We could’ve clearly drafted one of those two at 33, and we took a gamble that one would be there. It just so happened both were there.”
While many international prospects drafted in the second round end up stash guys, it doesn’t sound like that’s the case for Michineau. Rivers said he expects the Clippers’ second-round picks to be on the team for next season and competing at summer league.
As a 6-3 point guard, Michineau possesses the size as well as the athleticism and speed to intrigue after spending the last three seasons with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone in France. The 22-year-old impressed at EuroCamp, and with his size, Rivers also believes Michineau can be a strong defender.
“We loved his speed, we loved his defense,” Rivers said. “His ability to play both positions – more of a point than a two – he has a great feel.”
While his stats don’t jump off the page, averaging 4.2 points and 1.3 assists in three seasons with Chalon, it’s the tools – and specifically the size and speed – that make Rivers and the Clippers believe he could develop into something. He’ll need to improve his jumper and cut down on turnovers to make that happen, but there’s little doubting Michineau’s ability to get to the rim.
“There were a lot of people very high on him,” Rivers said. “He’s very young and he has a chance to get a lot better.”
Few would’ve been shocked if Stone, who’s only 19 years old and averaged 12.5 points per game last season for Maryland, would’ve snuck into the first round. He has intriguing size at 6-11 with a 7-3 wingspan, and while he’s not a standout rebounder or the athlete other prospects are at his position, Rivers described his offensive game as a steal at that spot.
“What he hasn’t shown yet is if he can defend in our league…that’s one of the things we’re going to try to get him to do,” Rivers said. “But he’s a load down low. He had a 40-point game in college, so he’s proven he can score. We’ll see. I can’t wait to coach him.”