C.J. Wilcox recalled how he had “one of my worst workouts” with the Clippers, leaving the 6-foot-5 guard unsure if he had left the wrong impression.
Wilcox did not.
The Clippers looked at his body of work from playing four years at Washington as a guide to select Wilcox with the 28th pick in the first round of Thursday night’s NBA draft.
“They ended up picking me,” Wilcox said during a conference call with reporters. “It’s just funny how things work. I definitely didn’t have the best workout, but I’m thankful that I’m there.”
Wilcox averaged 14.4 points on 43.3% shooting from the field, 38.9% from three-point range, over his four-year career with the Huskies.
The Clippers have two shooting guards in J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford.
“C.J. is a great shooter and I value shooting,” Clippers Coach and President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers said.
Rivers admitted that he and his staff were on the phone Thursday trying to make a deal that never materialized.
According to NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly about it, the Clippers were trying to put together a package centering on small forward Matt Barnes.
The executives said the Clippers wanted to acquire New York’s Iman Shumpert, Memphis’ Tony Allen or Phoenix’s Gerald Green in attempt to improve their wing spot.
“Most deals fall apart,” Rivers said. “We didn’t have great confidence when we woke up [Thursday] that the deal we thought we may get would happen, but we’re out there picking.”
Though not directly asked about the ongoing saga of Donald and Shelly Sterling and her attempt to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, Rivers talked about it.
“I know there’s a lot of stuff out there and there’s a lot of things that can happen, but after going through the playoffs I made one decision,” he said. “I’m going to keep working. As long as you just keep working and doing your job, hopefully I’ll wake up one morning and it’s all over.”
Rivers said he hopes to hire coaches to replace Tyronn Lue, now the associate head coach in Cleveland, Alvin Gentry, the associate head coach at Golden State, and Kevin Eastman, who left the Clippers bench to become the team’s vice president of basketball operations.
NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said Brendan O’Connor and Howard Eisley, both of whom are behind the bench for the Clippers, are candidates to be on the bench next season. Former head coaches Mike Woodson and Maurice Cheeks are also candidates.