The 2020 NBA Draft is finally less than a week away, and although the LA Clippers don't have any first-round picks available, there's still the opportunity for the franchise to find a gem at No. 57.
We expect that the Clippers will look to add a point guard or more traditional big, though it couldn't hurt to take a swing on the best available player. There isn't that much of a need to draft by position at that point in the draft, especially when the team in question is competing for an NBA title.
There's always the chance that one of these players could become a reliable role player in the near future, but for now, expect these guys to spend much of their rookie year in the G League.
With that said, let's take a look at some potential second-round studs.
Markus Howard — PG, Marquette
2019-20 per game averages: 27.8 points, 3.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds
Markus Howard is a terrific scorer, plain and simple. This past season with Marquette, he averaged 27.8 points per game and drained 41.2% of his looks from three-point range. Those numbers don't say enough about his career, though.
Howard connected on 434 three-pointers over the past four seasons, good for seventh-most in NCAA history. For reference, J.J. Redick netted 457 and Stephen Curry hit 414.
Unfortunately, that's about all Howard has going for him.
His size is perhaps his biggest weakness — Howard stands an inch shy of six feet and weighs in around 170 pounds — but his negative assist to turnover ratio isn't worth bragging about, either.
It's hard to say if his scoring ability will translate to the NBA, but Howard has the potential to score in bunches off the bench if given the opportunity. He won't make many other contributions, but he's worth snagging for his offensive upside alone.
Mason Jones — SG, Arkansas
2019-20 per game averages: 22.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists
Mason Jones put up big numbers in his second year at Arkansas, averaging 22.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. It's his ability to draw fouls that'll likely get him drafted, though.
Jones attempted 9.1 free throws per game last season, converting at an 82.6% rate. He routinely took more than 10 each night, and did so in 11 of his last 16 games before the season was cut short due to the coronavirus.
The standout game of that stretch: A 38-point showing against Mississippi State in which Jones went 18-of-21 from the stripe.
Again, whether that ability will translate to the NBA is impossible to say at this point. But Jones' ability to fake out his defenders and create contact is a coveted skill, and it's one that could earn him a spot on LA's roster.
Cassius Stanley — SF, Duke
2019-20 per game averages: 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Unlike Howard and Jones, Cassius Stanley's numbers don't jump off the page. However, that has less to do with his ability and more to do with his role.
Howard was Marquette's first option to score, and the same is true of Jones for Arkansas. Stanley, on the other hand, played third fiddle to Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones, both of whom are expected to be drafted before him.
The case to draft Stanley is more based on his potential — something that's reflected in plenty of mock drafts. Stanley is projected as a late-first- to mid-second-round pick, meaning the Clippers would likely have to move up to take him.
LA did trade up for Mfiondu Kabengele last year, so it's certainly possible that they do it again. However, if the Clippers are looking to upgrade the roster elsewhere, they may be better off staying put instead.