The 2021 NBA Draft isn’t until July 29, with the lottery occurring on July 22, but that hasn’t stopped analysts and draft experts from projecting who the Los Angeles Clippers and the 29 other teams in the league will land.
Using Tankathon to simulate the draft order, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report came up with a 2021 NBA mock draft that has the Clippers projected to snag talented young Arizona State guard Josh Christopher with the No. 28 pick. Christopher, who played 15 games as a freshman before declaring for the draft, averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in his lone season with the Sun Devils.
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What Analysts Are Saying About Christopher
Wasserman linked Christopher to the Clippers largely due to his ability to make plays in the open court. He’s able to run-and-gun, and while his inexperience shows up from time to time, he could be an interesting fit in Ty Lue’s offense.
“Strong and explosive with advanced creation and shot-making skills for scoring, Christopher has clear pro potential,” Wasserman wrote. “At this stage, he’s far more efficient in the open floor than the half court, where he’ll need to improve his decision-making and shooting consistency.”
NBA Draft Room had this to say about Christopher’s game:
“He’s at his best when creating his own shot with the dribble and using his size and strength to bully his way into the lane. He can score from 3 levels, draining pull up jumpers, creating space in the mid range or taking it all the way to the cup. He’s not an elite run/jump athlete but has more than enough burst to hold his own (more of a Wesley Mathews type athlete than a Zach LaVine).”
Bobby Hurley on Christopher: ‘The Sky is the Limit’
Current Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley, a two-time NCAA champion in his collegiate days with Duke, has had nothing but praise for the 6’4″ shooting guard.
“I mean, the sky is the limit for him,” Hurley said about Christopher last year, per AZ Central. “He’s very mature, he’s very disciplined, he knows what he wants. He’s very strong-minded, mentally and physically tough. Super competitive, just oozing with talent on both ends of the floor. He’s very competitive defensively as well as his ability to create offense and score the basketball. So he’s the type of talent that doesn’t come along too often and if you have a chance to coach a guy like him, you’re just super excited about it.”
Whether the Clips land Christopher is a complete crap shoot at this point, of course, but he has a ton of promise, and Lue would be the perfect man to mold him. “Josh has been pretty special already. He has a great maturity about what he’s doing and how he’s practicing,” Hurley said.
Time will tell, but Christopher may be one for Clipper Nation to keep an eye on.
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