Lots of talk about possible trades leading up to the draft. I get the feeling that Pritchard will definitely be trying to move up in this draft to get the player of his choosing, whether that be Westbrook or Alexander or Augustin or someone else entirely. There's already been enough speculation on who that player actually is, so rather than beat that dead horse I thought it would be interesting to take a look at possible trading partners and their needs.
When you look at the teams filling up the 6-10 range in the draft, which is what it will probably take to get at least one of the players mentioned above, the one team that really sticks out to me is the Clippers. Here are a few reasons why:
1. They simply need bodies. They officially have only 8 players under contract for next season, plus some dead weight, and of those Brand, Maggette, and Livingston are huge question marks. I just don't see how they can expect to improve much next season by adding only one player through the draft.
2. Some of the players they do have qualify as pretty good starters in the league: Brand, Kaman, Thornton, Livingston when healthy, Maggette, so they are not necessarily in the market for more starters. But they are sorely lacking in depth behind their quality players, and this is where we can help. We have a good crop of young, talented players who could do wonders to improve the bench play of a team like the Clippers.
3. The holes that the Clippers do have in the starting lineup and on the bench seem to match up nicely with what we have available. Brevin Knight needs help and Livingston is questionable, so they might be interested in Jack. There's nobody behind Kaman and Brand, so they might be interested in Frye. Maggette might opt out and Thomas can never really be counted on, so maybe Martell or Outlaw appeals to them as well. Clearly we have some answers to their questions.
4. Their competitive window is still open. With the two most important players on their roster, Brand and Kaman, at 29 and 26 years old respectively, they are in a position to still be pretty good if they can just infuse some young talent into their team. No reason to blow it up just yet.
5. Finally, Pritchard rarely leaves anything to chance when it comes to the draft, giving up whatever he needs to to get the player he wants. At #7, it's likely that he would have his choice between Westbrook, Alexander, and Augustin, the three most likely targets for us in this draft based on team needs, workouts, and media reports.
I obviously have no idea what a trade with the Clippers might look like ... Jack, Frye, and the #13 for Thomas and the #7 would work. So would Jack, Frye, a re-signed Wafer, the #13, and the #33 for Mobley and the #7 (I personally like that idea the best). Needless to say, I'll be looking for Pritchard to make a deal with the Clippers come Thursday. Thoughts?