Newest Clipper Branden Dawson knows defense is his bread and butter

Newest Clipper Branden Dawson knows defense is his bread and butter
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo speaks with Branden Dawson (22) during a game against Maryland on Jan. 17, 2015. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Branden Dawson sat Thursday evening and waited ... and waited ... and waited.

Finally the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the No. 56 pick. The Clippers then acquired the draft rights to Dawson from the Pelicans in exchange for cash considerations.

"As the draft went on, and the second round went on, I kind of got worried, but things worked out for the best," Dawson said in a conference call Friday afternoon.

Dawson, a 6-foot-6 power forward who played for Michigan State for four seasons, averaged 12.1 points and nine rebounds in 32 games with the Spartans last season.

Clippers General Manager Dave Wohl said Thursday that he likes Dawson's toughness and competitiveness, but added that offensively he's a bit raw.

Dawson said he knows that his defensive intensity got him drafted, but he said he also showed teams during pre-draft workouts that he's capable of more than just that.

"I got a lot of feedback from guys that they didn't know how comfortable I was with the ball," Dawson said.

The Clippers said they had been watching Dawson all year, and Dawson said his workout with the team went exceedingly well.

"It was one of my best workouts by far," he said. "I did some things that they'd never seen me do."

Dawson said he values winning above everything, and said he's thankful for the opportunity to play alongside such competitors as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

"It's just amazing that [Clippers Coach] Doc Rivers and the entire Clippers organization has given me an opportunity to fulfill my dream," he said. "I'm ready to start working."