Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown both left the Missouri basketball program with one year of eligibility remaining to enter the NBA Draft, but neither was selected in the first round Thursday night. And only one was picked at all.
Clarkson was drafted by the Washington Wizards at No. 46 overall but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for financial considerations.
Brown, the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference this season, went undrafted among the 60 selections in the two-round draft.
Mizzou hasn’t had a first-round pick since DeMarre Carroll was selected 27th overall in 2009 by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Tigers have had 13 first-round picks in the program’s history.
There were only two first-rounders from the SEC on Thursday and both were from Kentucky: Julius Randle (No. 7 overall to the Lakers) and James Young (No. 17 to Boston). Clarkson was the fifth of six SEC players picked.
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Clarkson, a 6-foot-5, 193-pound combo guard, earned second-team All-SEC accolades following his lone season at Mizzou after transferring from Tulsa.
"What an incredible honor for Missouri to have Jordan Clarkson selected in tonight’s NBA Draft," Mizzou coach Kim Anderson said in a press release. "Missouri, from my time here as a player, on through my time as a coach, has helped produce some great NBA talent, and that trend will continue. I had the privilege to coach against and follow Jordan and also Jabari Brown’s careers here at Mizzou, and I applaud them for their hard work, passion and professionalism in all areas of life."
Clarkson started out strong and struggled late but still averaged 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists while playing 35.1 minutes per game. He shot 44.7 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from 3-point range.
DraftExpress.com had the San Antonio native at No. 31 overall, to the Milwaukee Bucks, in its final mock draft before Adam Silver kicked off the action in Brooklyn. FOX Sports rated Clarkson as the 33rd-best available prospect going into the draft.
Clarkson’s slight tumble in the draft could work out well for him.
Kupchak on Jordan Clarkson: "We had him higher on our draft board. Good size, good defender, excels in attacking the rim."
The Lakers are a team in transition, especially in the backcourt with aging veterans Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, and then young players such as Jodie Meeks and Kendall Marshall behind them.
The 6-5, 214-pound Brown was a first-team All-SEC pick and the leading scorer in the conference as he averaged a team-best 19.9 points per game. The Oakland native shot 46.7 percent from the field and 41 percent on 3-point attempts, making a team-high 80 threes, and averaged 4.4 rebounds in 37 minutes per contest.
DraftExpress.com had Brown at No. 45 overall to the Charlotte Hornets in its mock. FOX Sports rated the shooting guard as the 57th-best prospect.
NBA teams better hurry to sign Jabari Brown. He will be a real steal. Everybody needs shooters.
Brown will have a more difficult path to the NBA but could follow in the footsteps of his former Mizzou teammate Phil Pressey.
Like Brown, Pressey left school early to enter the NBA Draft but went undrafted. He signed with the Celtics last summer and earned a spot on the roster and a role for Brad Stevens’ squad. He played in 75 games last season, starting 11, and averaged 3.2 assists and 2.8 points per game.