If Earl Clark slips, might be too good for Detroit to pass on
by A. Sherrod Blakely
Monday June 08, 2009, 4:39 PM
Once considered a lock to be a top-ten pick, Earl Clark could slip to the Pistons at No. 15.AUBURN HILLS -- Standing 6-foot-10 and some change with shoes on, Louisville's Earl Clark doesn't exploit the mismatch he seems to have just about every time he steps on the floor as often as a player with his talent should.
Clark is considered one of the best small forwards in this draft class because at his size and versatility, there's no other player in the draft quite like him.
But the biggest knock against him - consistency - is why there are varying opinions as to where he might be selected.
Once considered a top-10 lock, there are some mock drafts that see the 21-year-old slipping into the late teens.
A fall of that magnitude is highly unlikely, especially with the Pistons sitting on the No. 15 overall pick.
Drafting Clark by no means would solve the many problems that contributed to Detroit's first losing season in nearly a decade.
But when you're coming off a season like that, adding a player of Clark's skillset in the middle of the first round might be too good an opportunity to pass on.
Here's the skinny on Earl Clark:
Last season's stats: 14.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, and 32.6 percent on 3-pointers.
Strengths: Superb athleticism; one of the quickest first steps to the basket you'll see among players in this year's draft class; his favorite post move is a fade-away jumper that, because of his length, is nearly impossible to defend.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent shooter; doesn't look comfortable when forced to put the ball on the floor and make a play for himself; relies too much on his perimeter shooting.
Projected draft position: A probable lottery-pick who will fall no further than the middle of the first round.