The perpetually lottery bound L.A. Clippers have the 14th pick (and first non-lottery pick) due to their great season. They have as a net GM:
Simon Cushing

as GM. Steve selects:
Oliver Saint-Jean



1. Team Needs/History
This season, the third season (a Clippers record!) under coach 
Bill Fitch, the team finished with a 36-46 record and scraped into 
the playoffs in a top-heavy conference.  Nothing to shout about, 
you'd think, except that in Fitch's first season the team started 
about 0-16 and were supposed to break the NBA record for futility.  
But they overachieved to a record of 17-65 and landed the 2nd pick 
in the draft, only to incur the wrath and ridicule of their fans 
and critics respectively by (a) taking McDyess instead of 
Stackhouse, and (b) trading McDyess to Denver for Rodney Rogers 
and Brent Barry (that draft's #15 pick).  Even when the complete 
trade was later revealed, and the Clippers had got Brian Williams 
and given up Elmore Spencer, everybody thought the Clippers were 
fools.  Well who's laughing now, Denver?  Last season the Clippers 
improved by 12 games to 29-53 while the Nuggets slumped (and now 
McDyess is threatening to leave Denver when his 3 year contract 
expires).  The trade seemed to see-saw back in Denver's favour, 
however, when Williams (who had seemed the best of the 3 Nuggets 
players) left as a free-agent, but even without him and Stanley 
Roberts (for all but 16 blubber-coated games) the team again 
improved by 7 games, again without a clear "franchise" player, and 
with a leading scorer of under 16ppg, because of a very well-
balanced, team-oriented game.  (Once again the Clippers had no 
all-stars, despite having better records than many teams that sent 
one or two players.  Only Portland had a better record with no 
all-stars.)  Because of this balance, the Clippers are in a 
strange situation in that they have at worst average players at 
each position, and also better depth at all positions than most 
teams, so have no glaring needs (except a superstar, but nobody 
picking lower than #1 in this draft is likely to get that).  They 
are also a young team with good potential, so the thing they need 
most is another year playing together.  A lot depends on who among 
the principle free agents (Loy Vaught, Malik Sealy and, I think, 
Darrick Martin) they are likely to re-sign, but a likely Clippers 
starting lineup for next season would be: 
Stanley Roberts, Loy Vaught, Rodney Rogers, Brent Barry/Malik 
Sealy, Darrick Martin/Brent Barry.
...with Lorenzen Wright first off the bench.
If the team largely stands pat and re-signs its FAs (and I think 
they should: Bill Fitch's policy has been to build slowly, and as 
it's worked, they shouldn't make large changes if at all possible) 
then biggest need would be PG, although Martin performed admirably 
this season, and would likely be as good next year as any guard 
available at #14.  Probable draft strategy will be 
First Option: try to trade pick along with someone like Lamond 
Murray for a starter-quality player or Chris Dudley level backup 
Second Option: BPA for depth.

a) PLAYER REVIEW (Salary is this season's)
Stanley Roberts   $3.3M (highest paid Clipper)
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
18 21.0  .426   0  0  .000   45 .703 0.5 0.4 1.3 1.3 5.1   9.5
As usual, the season began with wild reports that this year the 
man who has "FRANCHISE" tattooed on his arm would actually come to 
camp in shape and live up to his enormous (pun intended) 
potential.  And as usual, he didn't and two weeks into the season 
he blows out whatever un-blown leg parts he has left and is out 
for the year.  Will he ever earn his money?  If he ever DID get 
halfway in shape, he'd be a great offensive centre (soft hands, 
great strength [named by Shaq as the strongest guy he's played, 
although LSU homerism may have featured there], many post moves, 
but no outside shot, only average rebounder and usually abysmal 
free-thrower) and decent, if foul-prone defender (remarkably 
active shotblocker for one of such impressive girth).  Eventually 
Fitch will get fed up with planning the team around Stanley's very 
polished low-post game, only to have to re-tool completely a third 
of the way into the season, and pick up a bunch of sorry-ass 
reject centres (see below) and give up on him.  Must produce next 
season - could really surprise, but more likely to spend more than 
half the season on IR.  Even in a best case scenario, the Clippers 
would need a better-than-average backup, because of Stan's 
inability to stay out of foul trouble and stay in shape.

Lorenzen Wright   $1.5M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
77 25.1  .481   1  4  .250   88 .587 0.6 0.6 1.0 0.8 6.1   7.3
I've listed Wright under centre because that's where he played 
most of his minutes last season.  He is NOT an NBA centre, 
however, and if Loy Vaught is not re-signed next season, he will 
likely be the starter at PF - and even there, he's a little skinny 
for the position.  However, in recent years the Clippers have had 
Bo Outlaw (at 6'8", around 220lbs) starting at centre, so Wright 
is actually a step up.  As is well-known, Fitch hates rookies (see 
Anderson, Kenny) and Wright got off to a slow enough start that 
people were starting to call him a draft bust before the all-star 
break.  However, late on in the season his minutes and his numbers 
went up to fairly respectable levels.  His rebounding in 
particular is impressive for such a slight player, and Fitch was 
rumoured to be much impressed.  In general, not a star, but a hard 
worker who could prove to be a solid NBA player for years.  Dallas 
wanted him and had to settle for Samaki Walker - I think they're 
the ones who really ended up crapping out.  It must also be 
remembered that next year would be Wright's senior year in 

Kevin Duckworth (FA) $0.25M
I'm not going to bother listing Duck's stats except suffice to say 
he played 15 mpg for 26 games.  The most interesting stat was that 
he hit 3 of 4 threes!  Obviously the Clippers' front office 
decided that the Clippers were starting to lose their treasured 
reputation as the laughingstock of the NBA and decided to bring in 
an EVEN FATTER centre to make Stanley look better.  Duckworth, 
once merely obese, is now a walking (waddling) blimp.  He has no 
business being in the NBA any more.  Hard to believe he was once 
an all-star.

Dwayne Schintzius (FA) $0.63M
Another journeyman centre who was called on to stand around and be 
tall and managed to injure himself.  No longer has the worst 
haircut in the NBA.

Rich Manning      $???
Third time's the charm!  Manning, although signed very late (only 
played 10 games) actually did pretty well - he's the only one who 
might be asked back of the three journeymen.  Still a stiff 
though, in the Matt Fish tradition.  A face only a mother could 
love, too.

Loy Vaught (FA)   $3.1M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
82 34.6  .500   2 12  .167  134 .702 1.3 1.0 1.7 0.3 10.0  14.9
Loy's scoring slipped a bit from the last couple of years, which 
is a sign of better balance rather than worse performance, 
although his patented baseline jumper didn't seem as sure a thing 
as it has been (arguably only Patrick Ewing is more reliable at 
that shot).  Vaught is of the AC Green/Horace Grant/Charles Oakley 
tradition of hard working boardmen with little or no back-to-the 
basket games but solid mid-range jumpers.  He's not as great a 
defender as those 3, but he's younger and very athletic.  For the 
past 3 years he has been the Clippers' MVP, and their #1 priority 
of this off-season will be to re-sign him.  Given the Clippers' 
sorry history with free agents (Helloooo Danny Manning and Brian 
Williams) one might think this a lost cause, but I actually think 
Vaught might stay.  He likes Los Angeles and has diverse interests 
outside of basketball (he's a fan of wines and a pretty fair 
artist).  If the Clippers could ensure that he get a recurring 
role in The Young And The Restless, then they'd be assured of re-
signing him - he's a soap fanatic and tapes every show!  On the 
other hand, I fully expect Detroit to make a real run at signing 
him, especially now Otis Thorpe is out the door.  Vaught would 
complement Grant Hill perfectly, and with his jumper feed off 
Hill's penetration.  Plus he's an ex-Wolverine.  Detroit tried to 
get him before and Donald Sterling will have to the padlock off 
his checkbook to keep him.  Fitch is a big Vaught fan, however, 
and Sterling listens to Fitch, so it could happen.

Charles "Bo" Outlaw (FA) $0.6M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
82 26.8  .609   0  8  .000  117 .504 1.9 1.1 1.3 1.7 5.5   7.6
Another Fitch (and fan) fave, Bo "Blocked by" Outlaw is a 
tremendous defender, incredible leaper and total team player who 
is hampered only by the fact that he couldn't throw a brick in the 
ocean.  He gets all his points off putbacks and fastbreak dunks, 
and knows his limits, however.  Outlaw is small-forward sized, but 
has played all three front court positions and played them very 
well (at least on the defensive end).  He's of PJ Brown value to a 
team that has plenty of scorers.  I think the Clippers can, should 
and will re-sign him because he's a crucial "glue" player: 
enthusiastic bench booster, dives on the floor for balls and gets 
on well with all the other Clippers.  If other teams have good 
scouts, however, don't be surprised to see Bo being offered 
surprising sums of money this off-season.  (I call him "Blocked 
by" because at least once a game the Clippers commentator Ralph 
Lawler will be provoked to shriek that at the top of his lungs as 
Bo comes out of nowhere to swat a shot away in spectacular 

Rodney Rogers     $2.3M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
81 30.6  .462  65 180 .361  191 .663 2.7 1.1 2.7 0.8  5.1  13.2
Rogers was supposed to be the main player in the (in)famous 
McDyess trade with Denver but last year seemed to contribute the 
least, behind Brian Williams and Brent Barry.  This year he came 
into his own, and although still inconsistent, has become a more 
reliable scorer.  Should still be more dominant, if the stretches 
of time where he has taken over games are indicative: he can take 
his man off the dribble, shoots 36% on threes and is tremendously 
strong.  Also his left-handed jams are nearly always highlight 
reel quality.  Free-throwing needs work, and he's still a bit of a 
'tweener, but of the many MANY players who have been dubbed "the 
next Barkley" he's the closest to having the total package (at 
least since LJ's back went south).  If the Clippers lose Vaught, 
he will be the closest thing to a Clippers star next year.

Lamond Murray     $2.7M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
74 17.5  .416  31  91 .341  156 .739 0.8 0.7 1.2 0.4 3.1   7.4
Murray is a bit of a mystery.  He has all the tools to be a 
Dominique Wilkins level scorer, and in fact resembles Jamal 
Mashburn in game and physique.  He's strong, can post up most 3s, 
and has as pretty a jumper as his cousin Tracy.  But he just 
doesn't seem to have the drive to excel.  It doesn't help that he 
seems to be in and out of Fitch's doghouse all the time, but 
that's not unconnected with his attitude.  He averaged 14ppg in 
his rookie year and looked well on his way to being a star, but 
has been pushed aside by the similarly inconsistent, but a little 
tougher, Rodney Rogers.  Needs a nastiness transfusion, or maybe 
just a trade to the Suns to re-unite with Jason Kidd.  As it is, 
he's restricted to spot duty off the bench, and rarely seems to 
get into a groove.

Malik Sealy (FA)  $1.7M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
80 30.7  .396  79 222 .356  254 .876 2.1 1.6 1.9 0.6 3.0   13.5
Sealy is a Fitch favourite, and I'm sure it's because of his tough 
defence, because it certainly isn't because of his shooting.  
While sweet-shooters like Lamond Murray, Eric Piatkowski and (to a 
lesser extent) Terry Dehere languish on the bench, Sealy gets the 
lion's share of the minutes, despite his woeful fg%.  However, if 
he ever DID get his shot going (and occasionally he does hit a hot 
streak) he'd be a top-level SG.  He's very tall for a guard (6'8") 
but has to play guard because he's too skinny for SF.  However, 
he's very mobile and has good enough all-round skills to flourish, 
if it weren't for his shooting.  (Oddly enough, his 3pt shooting 
is decent, his ft% is very respectable, and he gets a lot of his 
points from posting up smaller players, so that gives you some 
idea of just how bad most of his mid-range shots are.)  The 
Clippers have a ton of swingmen and Sealy is a FA, but I expect 
him to return as a Clipper largely because Fitch likes him and 
he's unlikely to get much interest elsewhere.  He's also a smart, 
funny guy, and a natty clothes designer.

Brent Barry       $0.96M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
59 18.5  .409  56 173 .324   76 .817 2.6 0.9 1.3 0.3 1.9   7.5
Not what was hoped for from this second-year slam dunk winner and 
fan favourite: his best performance was probably his cameo in 
Jerry Maguire.  In fact, a rumour circulated after the massive 
Nellie housecleaning in Dallas that the Clippers had offered Brent 
AND Darrick Martin for Eric Montross!  That's GOT to hurt your 
ego.  He was hampered by injuries, being in Fitch's doghouse and 
lack of defence.  (As Fitch put it - "He's getting better, but I 
wouldn't ask him to guard my wallet".)  He got off to a very slow 
start with an injured hand, and Fitch was apparently under the 
impression that he'd got a swelled head from the slam dunk title.  
The Clippers need to hold on to Barry, however, as what few fans 
they have love him (a fact which might actually work against him 
in Fitch's eyes - as Barry admitted himself, when the crowd starts 
chanting for him [yes - Clippers fans CHANTING!] this is more 
likely to make Fitch decide NOT to put him in) but you can see 
what Fitch means.  Can be absolutely dominant - has all the 
offensive tools from great explosiveness to a very reliable, 
albeit Mario Elie-esque flat-footed 3-point shot, and great hot-
dog passing skills (Fitch played him more at backup PG as the 
season progressed, and has always said he's grooming him to be 
their PG of the future), but can also disappear, and is skinny 
enough (his nickname is "Bones") to be pushed around even by PGs.  
His career parallels Bobby Sura's in more than that they're white 
men who can jump: both are very flashy open-court players playing 
for old-school team-first coaches.  This coming season is make-or-
break for Barry.  Should get more minutes if Sealy leaves as a FA.  
Is best buddies with Bo Outlaw and Rodney Rogers.

Eric Piatkowski   $1.4M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
65 11.5  .450  51 120 .425   69 .821 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.2 1.6   6.0
"Pike" or "The Polish Gunner" as he was called in college, was MVP 
of the Desert Classic the year he was drafted (which just goes to 
show you how much THAT means) and touted by Bill Fitch (who 
actually coached his father) in an unguarded moment as like Larry 
Bird.  I still think there's a good niche for someone like 
Piatkowski, but it would need to be as a role player on a better 
team.  He could be a better Jud Buechler, as he really has 
beautiful form on his three, and should be even more valuable if 
they move the line back out, and he has more time to launch.  He's 
not completely one-dimensional, either: he hustles on defence, and 
has been known to burst into the lane and dunk, although this 
isn't very often.  Like all the Clippers' swingmen, lost in a 
numbers game.  Often brought in to provide instant offence when 
Fitch has grown disgusted with his starters.  Can play both SG and 

Darrick Martin    $0.375M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
82 22.2  .407  91 234 .389  218 .872 4.1 0.7 1.5 0.0 1.4   10.9
A CBA reclaimee who was supposed to be 3rd guard (behind the much 
higher-paid Pooh Richardson and Terry Dehere) but Pooh had an 
injury early in the season and Martin took over.  Had a promising 
spell in Minnesota last year and supposedly improved his game with 
Magic's touring team, but even so, he wildly exceeded expectations 
for someone who didn't even start as a college senior (nudged out 
by Tyus Edney) and who is shorter than his girlfriend (a 
volleyball player).  He scored 38 points in one game against Utah 
this season and has great quickness and a very solid 3 point shot.  
Whether or not he returns will depend on whether the Clippers 
target a PG in the draft (Jacque Vaughn's name comes up a lot, and 
Vaughn is probably a better passer and is taller) and also whether 
or not he's a FA.  If he is, then the Clippers can't re-sign him 
for more than $450 thousand, which is his current salary plus 20%.  
If he doesn't get a better offer than that, I'd be amazed.

Pooh Richardson   $2.7M (Third highest paid)
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
59 18.1  .381  42 128 .328   26 .605 2.9 0.9 1.1 0.1 1.7   5.6
What happened to Pooh?  He came to the Clippers in their darkest 
hour (from the Pacers, where he was a benchwarmer behind Haywoode 
Workman) and played well for 2 seasons, before this one when he 
gets buried deep on the bench behind Darrick Martin.  Part of it 
must be that his shot never left Minnesota, but otherwise he 
always looks solid when he plays - defends well, distributes the 
ball, pops the occasional three.  He must have really pissed the 
coach off.  Obviously trade bate, but will attract very few takers 
with his history and salary.  Might get a chance at redemption if 
Martin leaves.

Terry Dehere      $1.9M
G   mpg   fg%  3m 3a   3%   fta  ft% apg spg tog bpg rpg   ppg
73 14.4  .386  52 160 .325  122 .824 2.2 0.4 1.3 0.0 1.3   6.4
I thought Dehere was going to have a breakout year this year, as 
last year he improved immensely: he'd eased into playing PG after 
being a SG in college, could break down just about anyone off the 
dribble, and finally had re-gained his shot.  However, this year 
his minutes plummetted and were taken by a healthy Malik Sealy and 
the surprising Darrick Martin.  I still think Dehere would make a 
great third guard for some team, and reminds me a lot of Sam 
Cassell.  He can put points on the board in a hurry and can run a 
team well enough.  If the Clippers' logjam at guard doesn't get 
sorted, though, he's liable to be lost behind the Brent Barrys and 
Malik Sealys of this world.

In my opinion Bill Fitch is the MVP of the Clippers this season 
and for the past two, and the best thing Sterling has done in 
years was to give Fitch a 2-year contract extension after the 
Playoffs.  Sterling apparently has decided that Fitch is the man 
he wants in charge, and he gets great input into personnel 
decisions (although now I've heard that the McDyess trade, derided 
at the time but now lauded, was actually Elgin Baylor's baby).  
He's old school, and wherever he's gone, he's built crappy teams 
(hence his dubious record of losing more games than any coach in 
history) into contenders by taking no shit from anyone and playing 
solid team players over pouty stars (witness his benching of the 
rookie Kenny Anderson behind the then-unheralded Mookie Blaylock).  
The result has been a Clippers team that plays AS a team, with no 
player averaging more than 35mpg (Loy Vaught) and most in the 
teens or twenties.  This is a policy that needs management 
approval (most other teams would have got nervous at Fitch's 
treatment of the Clippers' most marketable commodity, Brent Barry) 
and he's got it.  As a result, nobody likes to play the Clippers, 
as they're scrappy and they never stop working.  Plus they're a 
very close-knit bunch - as Fitch cracked "If they all hate me, at 
least I've got them to agree on one thing."  The only worry with 
Fitch is that he's no spring chicken and had heart surgery this 

2. My Selection for the Mock Draft
Aagh!  Why oh why didn't Steve take Danny Fortson?  Okay, so 
Phills is a free agent, but the Cavs HAVE Sura, and are likely to 
trade for Jimmy Jackson (ironically the person whose scholarship 
Derek Anderson inherited at Ohio State) so why not let ME draft 
Derek Anderson as I was desperately hoping to do?
Well, given that Anderson has gone (and perhaps just as well given 
my record of gambling on talented injured players - I took Dontae' 
Jones with Portland's pick last year, and so far that choice 
hasn't looked great) I will instead pick:

Olivier Saint-Jean (G/F) of San Jose State!

Given comments I've made elsewhere about how many swingmen the 
Clippers have, this sounds like a crazy choice, but let me try to 
justify this.  More comments below (in "others considered") but my 
reason for taking Saint-Jean over the more sensible Jacque Vaughn 
or the higher-rated Danny Fortson is simply that, from what I've 
heard, Saint-Jean is the most likely player to be a star of those 
left on the board.  In particular he was rated as easily the 
standout player of the Chicago Pre-Draft camp, and measured there 
at 6'7" and 216, so he could easily swing between SG and SF.  As I 
say below, everyone seems to think the Clippers will take Jacque 
Vaughn, and he's a solid choice (except if you believe the Tendex 
guy on the CBS Sportsline webpage, who rates him as a low 2nd 
round pick) but the Clippers have 3 players (Richardson, Dehere 
and Barry) certainly under contract - and possibly their starter 
(Martin) too - who can and have played the point.  Meanwhile Sealy 
is a free agent and can't shoot anyway.  I really REALLY wanted to 
take Anderson, but Saint-Jean is an exciting prospect, and worth 
the gamble.  As for Danny Fortson - he's a 6'7" power forward who, 
in the words of one scout, "can't jump over a telephone book."  
The Clippers have a tweener forward already in Rodney Rogers, who 
is also incredibly strong, and who can jump over a telephone 
BOOTH.  I never seriously considered him.  (And maybe that's why 
Steve didn't take him...)

3. Others Considered
In order of preference:

Pipe dreams: Antonio Daniels, Chauncey Billups
Considered the top two PGs, the Clippers would definitely love to 
have either, and neither will last past the top 6. 
[Didn't in the Usenet draft, either]

More reasonable:
Brevin Knight
Only a disaster would cause him to drop to #14, and he wouldn't 
slip past BOTH Golden State and Sacramento.  But he would be a 
dream pick: gutsy, fast, intelligent, unselfish and a big game 
player.  Who knows, maybe next year the Clippers might be IN some 
big games.
[Taken at #8 by Golden State in the Usenet Draft]
Kelvin Cato
Again, likely to be gone by #10, and is slight to play centre in 
the NBA (may not be much larger than Lorenzen Wright) but would be 
difficult to pass up if he drops.
[Taken at #11 by Sacramento in the Usenet Draft]
Tracy McGrady
Word is his stock's rising and he'll almost certainly be gone 
before #14, and besides, Fitch is unlikely to want a project.  But 
the Clippers might be tempted by an answer to Kobe Bryant... 
[went at #7 to New Jersey in the Usenet Draft - how people will 
gamble on "potential"]
Derek Anderson
Depending on how his injury checks out, I expect him to go before 
#14 or slip down into the twenties.  He was a sure lottery pick 
before he got hurt, and may still bounce back there.  The Clippers 
do have Brent Barry who can play the 2, but it would be hard to 
resist a player of Anderson's ability, and besides, Barry can 
swing to 1, Anderson to 3, and Malik Sealy, the starter at 2, is a 
FA.  Anderson would be a gamble, but on sheer talent, he'd easily 
be BPA.  [Taken by Cavs at #13]
Jacque Vaughn
Vaughn was rated as the joint-best college PG in the country (with 
Knight) before the season, and played solidly.  He's an old-style 
PG - distributes well, defends well, shoots little.  Fitch is an 
old-style coach, so might take him.  See comments below in "player 
the Clippers will actually take."

Sleeper picks:
Austin Croshere
The Clippers are loaded at forward, but have few true mid-range 
shooters who could start, so he'll be tempting.
[Taken by Indiana at #12 in Usenet Draft]
Chris Anstey
At #14 he'd be a reach, but he wouldn't be expected to carry the 
team, especially in the (unlikely) event Roberts actually 
contributes next season.
Olivier St-Jean
The Clippers have been willing to experiment with foreigners from 
unlikely NBA countries - they were briefly the favourite NBA team 
in China (Ma Jian lasted most of a training camp) and Israel 
(Doron Sheffer was last year's second-round pick) - so why not 
France?  With the news that St-Jean was the best player in the 
Chicago pre-draft camp, his stock has leapt into the mid-first 
round.  However, he's YET ANOTHER athletic swingman, and the 
Clippers have never been short of them (remember Harold Ellis?).  
Marty Blake says he's got a huge upside, so who knows?  [As seen 
above, I decided to go for it.  Hope he can SHOOT better than 
Harold Ellis - who, ironically, is probably now PLAYING in 

4. Whom the Clippers will ACTUALLY draft
Fitch is always on the lookout for half-decent centres, but none 
is projected around the Clippers' pick: Foyle and Cato are 
supposed to be top 10, and the next centre is the Aussie Chris 
Anstey in the early 20s.  Otherwise PG is an area of concern, 
particularly if Martin is a FA, and Jacque Vaughn, a Padadena 
native, has been much rumoured.  Fitch is unlikely to want a 
rookie PG, but Vaughn is a solid citizen and has run a talented 
team as a collegian.  So if Cato doesn't drop, and the Clippers 
don't trade the pick (I think they'll try, but they're unlikely to 
get many takers) my guess is Vaughn.

5. Other Advisable Moves
This off-season is a crucial one for the Clippers, as they have 
some key players coming up for free agency.  They should NOT let 
them go to clear cap room for next year's supposed free-agent 
bonanza, as NO star will EVER come to the Clippers.  So they must:
RE-SIGN DARRICK MARTIN (if indeed he is a FA)
Lock Stanley Roberts in a room with nothing but weightlifting 
equipment, feed him diet food once a day and send electric shocks 
through the floor that only stop if he rides a stationary bike for 
4 hours a day.
Also, if they DO re-sign Sealy, they should make him shoot jumpers 
every day until his arm falls off.

6. Where the team is headed
Who knows?  The Clippers will never progress far until they get a 
true star player.  Of the players they already have, Rodney 
Rogers, Stanley Roberts and Brent Barry have the most potential, 
but none of them is likely to be an all-star any time soon.  Can 
they trade for a star?  Not likely: the stars unhappy with their 
current teams are Shawn Kemp, Mitch Richmond and possibly Vin 
Baker, but the Clippers don't have enough to offer for any of 
them.  They do have some decent players spare - if they re-sign 
Vaught, Outlaw and Sealy, the team could easily spare any or all 
of Lamond Murray, Eric Piatkowski, Pooh Richardson and Terry 
Dehere, all of whom are better than 12th men and even potential 
starters on a poor team.  But none of them stands out as a "must 
have" player.  Pike, Pooh or Dehere should be shipped whatever 
happens (preferably Pooh) as there's just not enough minutes for 
all of them at guard.
Can the Clips attract a star free agent?  Don't make me laugh.  
The only way that would happen would be if Donald Sterling sold 
the team to Disney and it moved permanently into the Pond in 
Anaheim (which sells out whenever the Clippers play there).  
Sterling, a real-estate magnate, boasts however that he has never 
sold a property, and is dead set against moving the team to 
Anaheim.  Latest news is that he plans to move to Hollywood Park 
(opposite the Lakers' Forum) in 1999.  We'll see.  Until that 
happens, the Clippers will just have to follow the Fitch program 
and hope to gravitate to decency.  This year they were mediocre, 
which was a huge step up!

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