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Clippers Snag Aminu, Bledsoe In First Round

The Los Angeles Clippers were busy in the first round of the NBA Draft, selecting forward Al-Farouq Aminu with the eighth pick, and trading for point guard Eric Bledsoe, who was picked 18th by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Clippers' General Manager Neil Olshey was happy to select the athletic Aminu, 6-foot-9 forward from Wake Forest:

"The thought process is that we have a gaping hole at small forward. There's going to be a learning curve for Al-Farouq. He's only 19. He played out of position as a four at Wake Forest to help his team. But we think his eventual position is small forward. He was one of the few players in this draft we felt was the best combination of need and talent, or production and potential, and we were glad he was there at [pick number] eight."

Bledsoe, a freshman point guard who was part of John Calipari's first recruiting class at Kentucky, was selected 18th by Oklahoma City, but was acquired by the Clippers for a protected future first-round draft pick. Bledsoe averaged 11.3 points and 2.9 assists per game in his only season at Kentucky.

With their second round pick, the 54th overall selection, the Clippers selected Willie Warren, a shooting guard from Oklahoma. Warren was a teammate of Blake Griffin with the Sooners in 2008-2009.

Olshey and team president Andy Roser discussed the moves:

Steve Perrin of Clips Nation loved the Clippers' moves on draft night:

Draft grades are silly on draft night. The simple fact is, these guys haven't suited up yet, so there's no point to trying to evaluate the picks at this point.

Having said that, I give the Clippers an A+++++++ for this draft.