Blake Griffin's Worst-Case Scenario Is Clippers Winning No. 1 Pick

Matt Petersen@@TheMattPetersenCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the court after losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Tar Heels defeated the Sooners 72-60 to advance to the Final Four.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Normally the best player coming out for the draft knows two things: 1) which team he'll be playing for and 2) how he will be contributing in his rookie year.

While it's a sure thing Blake Griffin will be selected No. 1 in this year's NBA Draft, his role and the state of the team selecting him, the Los Angeles Clippers, are anything but certain.

The Clippers are not exactly the ideal situation for a consensus No. 1 pick.

Griffin, the athletic, high-scoring, and rebounding machine out of Oklahoma, will likely find himself on a dysfunctional Clippers squad that, unfortunately for every big man involved, is already deep on the frontline.

Los Angeles features Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman at center as well as Zach Randolph at power forward. The Clippers would love to dump Randolph to make room for Griffin.

Randolph's lack of lift and focus make him a liability on the defensive end to the point that teams are wary to take him despite his 20.9 points-per-game average.

That, combined with his almost iron clad contract, which is $14.6 million per year, make him the least attractive commodity for potential trading partners. That salary, combined with his natural scoring, make him a waste to keep on the bench behind Griffin.

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Trading Camby or Kaman is more feasible, both because of their more reasonable contracts and more serviceable talents.

Camby remains among the league-leaders in rebounds and blocked shots (11.1rpg and 2.1bpg, respectively). Kaman is a capable low-post scorer on offense (12.0ppg) and rebounds and defends well on the defensive end (8.0rpg and 1.5bpg).

Should the Clippers trade either Camby or Kaman, they bank on Randolph being both a backup forward and center off the bench. Again, his scoring and salary are too much for a bench player.

Apart from the traffic jam in the frontcourt, Clipper Nation still needs to decide if Baron Davis is who they want running the point after a disappointing, injury-riddled and expensive ($11.1 million) first year with Los Angeles.

All of the aforementioned factors add up to the most unappealing setting possible for Griffin. For the sake of wins and Griffin's satisfaction, the Clippers would be well-served by blowing up the team by trading away their talented but underachieving veterans (see: Davis, Randolph) and rebuilding on a foundation of Griffin, Thaddeus Young, and Eric Gordon.

Otherwise, Griffin will find himself as yet another piece that doesn't fit in the Clippers' hopeless puzzle of a team.


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