The fortunes of the Clippers changed dramatically today after they won the NBA Draft Lottery. They are almost certain to take Blake Griffin from Oklahoma.
Griffin has the capability to be an All-Star Forward, and should be a great player for a long time. I don't think he's quite as good as Karl Malone, but in my opinion he'll have a better career than Elton Brand. When you pair Griffin with Eric Gordon, the Clippers suddenly have a terrific young nucleus.
Flash forward to five years from now when Kobe Bryant will be 35 and the Lakers will either be old or rebuilding. If Griffin and Gordon live up to their potential, then the Clippers will be a regular playoff team by then.
Of course the Clippers have a spectacular history of dysfunction, and it's plausible this pick will somehow blow up in their faces. The last time the Clippers had the first overall pick, they selected Michael Olowokandi over Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce.
This year, they'll have to figure out what to do about a crowded front-court with Griffin, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman, and Marcus Camby. Expect one of the latter three to be traded.
But for now, it's an exciting time to be a Clipper fan.