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Clippers' staff combines efforts to examine best NBA prospects for draft

With the NBA lottery drawing behind them, the Clippers will turn their attention to the league combine and what knowledge they can gain about potential draft picks.

The Clippers have the 12th and 13th picks in the June 21 NBA draft, but preparation starts much earlier as they interview prospects and watch them play with the hopes of finding the correct fits for their roster.

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"It's probably just a refresher course when you see them," said Jerry West, the Clippers consultant who was on stage at the NBA's lottery drawing Tuesday.

"To me, it's important to see a kid out of his system and more in an NBA environment and what his adjustments are going to be. Is he going to look lost out there?"

West said the Clippers and the rest of NBA already have scoured scouting reports on players from their college days.

"I just like to concentrate on the few that I've seen play this year," West said. "Our scouts have seen a lot more. This is a fun time of the year, it really is. We're trying to find people that are going to be difference-makers for this franchise."

Players that could be high on the Clippers' list include Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michigan State forward Miles Bridges, Texas A&M center Robert Williams, and Kentucky forward Kevin Knox, but there is more to be learned.

On Wednesday, the NBA started its first medical examinations of the players.

Lawrence Frank, the Clippers president of basketball operations, said they will want to see data about a player's size, wing span, vertical leap, and shuttle-run and lateral-slide times.

"What it does is give you data that you can compare apples to apples and then you can go back to past drafts," Frank said. "So, you have these physical prototype for every position, and as you see with the league, it's getting longer, stronger and more versatile."

The interview process with the players started Wednesday and will continue Thursday. Frank said each team gets 30 minutes to "get to know each player" and that the Clippers will interview the NBA maximum of 20 players over the next few days.

"All throughout the process, you're constantly collecting information on each player," Frank said. "And with each player, you'll have some questions. This is your opportunity in a 30-minute window to try to get right to it."

There also will be five-on-five scrimmages Thursday, another way for the Clippers to see players in a competitive environment outside the college setting.

"With every single player here, you have their strengths, weaknesses and the things we need to find out," Frank said. "So every opportunity you get exposed to them is an opportunity to find out those missing pieces."

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