The Los Angeles Clippers are often considered the laughing stock of the NBA, but with the emergence of Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, the Clippers are a franchise on the rise.
While they have certainly made their share of mistakes on draft day, the following is a list of the top 10 draft picks the Clippers have made since they moved to Los Angeles in 1984.
I know some might say, "Benoit Benjamin?'' Yes, Benjamin wasn't as good as the Clippers thought he would be, but he spent five and half seasons with the Clippers and averaged more than 12 points and eight rebounds a game. He was a solid, not spectacular, center who probably could have done a lot more with a stronger work ethic.
A power forward out of Michigan, Taylor spent just three seasons with the Clippers, but in his time he averaged more than 14 points per game. He never had a better season after he left Los Angeles for Houston in 2000.
Another power forward out of Michigan, Vaught spent eight seasons with the Clippers. He averaged more than 11 points and seven rebounds in his Clipper career. He posted back-to-back seasons of averaging more than a double-double during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. The Clippers got very good value out of the selection of Vaught.
The Clippers had two first-round picks in their first season in Los Angeles in 1984. They struck out with Lancaster Gordon at No. 8 overall but made a fine selection with Cage in the 14th spot.
Cage spent just four seasons with the Clippers and led the NBA in rebounding in his final season in Los Angeles with an impressive 13 per game.
The Clippers had three first-round picks in 1987, the last of which was Norman. They struck out on the first two, but Norman had a solid career in Los Angeles, even though he was often overshadowed by others.
Norman, a small forward, averaged more than 14 points per game during his six seasons in Los Angeles.
Kaman was the sixth pick of the storied 2003 draft behind LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dywane Wade.
Although he has been injured much of this season, Kaman has shown steady improvement through much of his career with the Clippers and is considered one of the better starting centers in the NBA. He improved enough to be selected to the 2010 NBA All-Star game.
The current Laker now married to Khloe Kardashian had a solid four-year career with the Clippers before joining the Miami Heat and now the rival Lakers.
Odom averaged more than 15 points per game with the Clippers and played a number of positions, as he has done throughout his career.
The top pick in the 1988 draft, Manning suffered a torn ACL in his first season. He came back and had a very good career with the Clippers, even though some thought he would become a superstar. He never averaged less than 15 points per game in a season in his five and a half years in Los Angeles.
He was selected to play in the All-Star game in 1992-93 when he averaged 22.8 points per game.
Gordon has emerged as one of the top shooting guards in the NBA in his third season. After averaging more than 16 points per game in his first two seasons with the Clippers, Gordon has become a dominant shooter this season averaging more than 24 points per game.
Like Danny Manning, Griffin was a forward from a Big-12 school that suffered a major injury in his first season with the Clippers. Unlike Manning, Griffin didn't play a single game in the regular season, making this season his rookie year.
Griffin has become one of the most exciting players in the NBA. He is among the league leaders in scoring and rebounds and is a safe bet for Rookie of the Year honors.