As this year’s draft prospects walk into the L.A. Clippers Training Center in Playa Vista, surrounding the court are key evaluators and decision- makers including Head Coach Doc Rivers, President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank and Chairman Steve Ballmer. However, the man running the workout and explaining the drills is Director of Player Programs and General Manager for the Agua Caliente Clippers, Dee Brown.
Prior to joining the Clippers, Brown served as Director of Player Development for the Denver Nuggets and the Sacramento Kings and he was an assistant coach under Michael Malone with the Detroit Pistons. His ability to cultivate talent is informed by his own experiences as a player, having spent 12 years in the league playing for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic.
Throughout the season Brown’s role entails developing players both on and off the field, but in preparation for the draft he is tasked with, as he says, helping “identify the best players for this basketball team.”
From Clipper DNA, the Draft Process, & Pre-Draft Workouts, Director of Player Programs, Dee Brown explains how the draft workouts are structured and what the Clippers coaching staff look for within each drill. 📋💪#LACDraft18 pic.twitter.com/yW9OrM89Tr
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 13, 2018
“We want a certain player that fits the Clippers characteristics that Steve Ballmer, Lawrence Frank and Doc Rivers [have] addressed to us. [These are] the characteristics that we want of our guys: hardworking, selfless, being about the right things, all about the team and understanding their role… You have to have these types of traits. Running, jumping and dunking, we can work on that stuff, but the DNA characteristics of being a Clipper, we are trying to establish that.”
The Clippers are growing closer to selecting their 12th and 13th picks in Thursday’s draft, and what will set these highly-skilled players apart is whether they have the heart of the Clippers. By creating situations in which these prospects need to think on their feet, interact with players that they’ve never met before and perform at a high level, Brown and the rest of the front office are better able to assess the quality of player that they see.
Given Brown’s extensive experience in the league and proven success in his first year as General Manager for the Clippers’ G-League team, he is an invaluable asset in evaluating the intangibles of potential future Clippers.