With NBA Draft lottery now completed, teams finally know where they will select in the NBA Draft. For teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, who have two picks in the top-15, has a tool of options on what they can do.
The Clippers was awarded the 12th and 13th picks in next month’s NBA Draft. There are some talented young players in this year’s class and the Clippers may want to hold on to their picks. For the same reason, there could be a high interest for other teams to invest in a trade for one of the two or both of the Clippers selections. Lets take a look at what potential trade packages that include the Clippers picks.
Option number one
Clippers receive: Kawhi Leonard
San Antonio Spurs receive: Danilo Gallinari, LAC No. 12 and 13 overall picks
If Kawhi Leonard signs the five-year, $200 million super max the Spurs can offer him this off-season, rumors of conflict between his camp and the organization will be put to rest. Since he has yet to sign anything and there appeared to be conflict throughout the season, let the trade rumors begin.
Leonard only played in nine games this season due to a quad injury. Teammates (Tony Parker and coaches (Gregg Popovich) have criticized Leonard (and his camp) for not playing even when the Spurs team doctors cleared him to play. For a franchise like the Spurs who have not experienced a lot of drama within the organization, they may be willing to let a talent like Leonard go.
The Clippers signed Danilo Gallinari to a three-year, $65 million contract last off-season. Unfortunately, it did not work out. He played in only 21 games due to multiple injuries (glute and fractured right hand). Getting his contract off their books would be great for the Clippers, even if it means risking the future. Leonard is a good consolation prize and a hometown kid.
Option number two
Clippers receive: Omer Asik, Chicago Bulls No. 6 overall pick
Chicago Bulls receive: Boban Marjanovic, Sam Dekker, LAC No. 12 and 13 overall picks
This trade might be a lot for the Clippers, but if a player they think highly of starts falling, they should not hesitate to make this move.
The 12th overall pick the Clippers have is from the Detroit Pistons from the Blake Griffin deal. It is a top-three protected, so they will definitely need to avoid any type of tricky of the pick going back to the Pistons. The sixth overall pick will avoid anything like that happening.
Trading up into the top six is great if the Clippers feel they see a player they can build around. The downside is taking on Omer Asik‘s contract, which has two years left on it in exchange for a Boban Marjanovic deal that expires after next season. Landing a potential franchise player will make everything better.
Option number three
Clippers receive: N/A
Yes, the Clippers stay put with their two first-round draft picks and try to build around their two new young players.
It is possible to find good productive talent at 12 and 13 in the NBA Draft. More recently, Dario Saric (2014) and Steven Adams (2013) were both selected 12th overall. They both have shown the ability to be better than their opposing player almost every game. The 13th overall pick has showed you can find franchise caliber players still.
Kobe Bryant was taken 13th in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, but traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, constructed by none other than Clippers Consultant Jerry West. In the 2017 NBA Draft, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was taken 13th as well. With the proper scouting, the Clippers can carve out two franchise cornerstones and get back to Western Conference contention.