As draft day moves closer more rumors are thrown out into the basketball world. Some are just absurd, others reasonable, and some very possible. No matter if they are absurd, reasonable or possible, they are still fun to imagine.
This one is no different.
The Oklahoman is reporting that a possible trade is in the works between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder involving each respective teams' draft picks.
There have been numerous reports that the LA Clippers want to move their top point guard Baron Davis, who is owed $54 million for the next four years after just signing with the Clippers last offseason.
There is also talk if Davis does leave they are in need of a good point guard. Ricky Rubio is the most likely selection.
Now, there is a lot of talk that the Clippers are going to draft Blake Griffin which started right away when the Clippers won the lottery draft. Actually, according to the Clippers assistant general manager, their mind was made up much longer ago.
“I’d say we made the decision June 2008,” assistant general manager Neil Olshey said Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista. “When he decided to go back to Oklahoma, that if we got the No. 1 pick in ‘09, he’d be the guy.”
Griffin will no doubt be going to LA, but will Davis be there playing with him?
Probably not. Griffin might not even be playing in a Clipper uniform.
The Oklahoma City Thunder hold the third pick in the NBA draft and have a good chance of taking Rubio as the Grizzlies are expected to draft Thabeet. They already have Mike Conley, the point guard they selected in the 2007 NBA draft with the fourth overall pick. They could afford passing up Rubio.
Davis going to OKC does not seem likely as I don't believe the Thunder would part with Green or Westbrook. Why trade two core players to get Baron Davis who has been injury prone through out his career?
Now, the Clippers already have a nice core of young players in Eric Gordon, Al Thornton and possibly Griffin or Rubio. You can't go wrong with any of them. Moving over the older players to make room for the great class of 2010 isn't a bad idea also.
The Clippers draft Blake Griffin, OKC gets Rubio. A three-player trade would take and would look like this.
The Mavericks get Camby's contract that will expire in 2010. He actually gives the Mavs a good veteran player who can defend, block shots and rebound. Davis and his contract length would probably not be accepted in Dallas. Since his past injury history there is a likelihood that he will miss a lot of games.
This helps the Clippers the most, as the Clips get $20 million off their cap this year and can wait 'til 2010, or sign somebody this year. Rubio, EG, Al, Randolph and Kamen as a starting five don't seem that bad.
The Thunder will get what they want without losing anything. They already have an athletic Russel Westbrook playing the PG position and will certainly be a force in this league for many years to come.
Jeff Green would probably be send to the bench, or they would have Griffin start at the center spot but that's highly unlikely as you would have a front court consisting of three players that are 6'9".
With a good back up guard in Shaun Livingston, this Thunder team would be set for the future and will seriously be legit championship contenders if they can keep that group around.
Now your probably saying "Why can't the Clippers just draft Rubio, and the Thunder draft Griffin"? Well I thought the same thing until I actually thought a little bit harder.
The Memphis Grizzlies: Scenario Two
If the Clippers draft Rubio, the Grizzlies would not hesitate to draft Griffin. It would be a better pick then Thabeet if you ask me.
You would land with a starting five of Gasol, Griffin, Gay, Mayo and Conley. Jeff Van Gundy would probably coin their front-line the "Big G's".
Now, having Thabeet as the starting center for the Thunder would not be that bad. It would allow Green to start with Durant, Thabo, and Russel.
This would probably not result in trading unless one of the team wants to move up, or down. I would have a feeling the Clippers would package Davis and a future draft pick to one of the teams that want be the Celtics.
Trade your draft picks and win a championship right now. Trade half your team and get the best players available, than sign free agents. That's not bad though.
It may not happen, but it's fun to think about it.
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