Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 7, 2009

Trading options if the Kings get the 4th overall pick

I know most people would assume that if the Kings get the 4th overall pick they’re screwed. I would say, hold the phone on that particular thought. There might be teams willing to trade down to get the player they want because they don’t want to draft that player too high. So, let’s look at some of the options.

First, here are the teams in the lottery in order of ping pong balls (of course):

Uno) Kings
Dos) Wizards
Tres) Clippers
Cuatro) Thunder
Cinco) Timberwolves
Seis) Grizzlies
Siete) Warriors
Ocho) Knicks
Nueve) Raptors
Diez) Bucks
Once) Nets
Doce) Bobcats
Trece) Pacers
Catorce) Suns

Now obviously, many scenarios could come up as with 14 teams there are many combinations that could throw a monkey wrench into any plans they do have. By my calculations there are 66 different scenarios just for the Wizards if they finish in the top 3 (which is only calculated if they finish in the top 3 picks, and not where they would finish in each slot, and then that would make even more calculations and I don’t want to do that). There is only one constant for each team is that no team can drop more than 3 slots than where their current record is. For the Kings, that is 4th overall. For the Wizards it’s 5th overall. For the Clippers its 6th. And so on. It’s not very likely to happen that 3 teams well below 6 jump up. It has happened before, but only once. It was in 2007.

Teams that are likely to take Blake Griffin with the 1st overall pick. The Wizards, Clippers, Grizzlies, Warriors, Knicks, Raptors, Bucks, Nets, Bobcats, Pacers, and Suns. I omitted the Kings, Thunder and Wolves for a variety of reasons. I’ll expand why later.

Teams that are likely to take Ricky Rubio with the 1st overall pick: The Kings and Wolves.

The Thunder are a team that I think would look to expand their asset pool by getting different talent of a player in their system as opposed to just taking Blake Griffin. The idea that they can’t afford to pass up Griffin for their fan base is erroneous. Their fanbase will understand if the Thunder win 40 games next year and contend for a playoff spot, and eventually, become a legitimate contender in a few years. Fanbase’s tend to ignore slights for winning.

Teams that might be willing to move the pick if they can attain a net asset, or save money on a salary: Wizards, Clippers, Thunder, Bucks, Suns,and quite possibly the Nets.

Teams that will not likely move their pick if they get it: Kings, Grizzlies, Wolves, Warriors, Knicks, Raptors, Bobcats, and Pacers.

What could this mean? That certain teams would be willing to move down if the right asset was given up by the Kings to move up. The Kings are guaranteed to have the 4th or higher pick. The higher they move up this decreases the likelihood of a trade because it’s very likely that, unless the Wolves get 1st overall and the Kings 2nd overall, that the Kings will miss out on Rubio. That is the only real scenario I can see where the Kings lose out on their potential top player available, and have to trade down to pick a player they want and gain an asset as well. Or, that seems logical to me. It may not to anyone else.

What teams are more likely to agree to a trade for the Kings if one of the Blake Griffin teams gets the 1st pick and another team willing to trade the pick gets the 2nd overall selection? The Wizards, Clippers, Bucks and the Suns. Why? Because many of those teams have salary considerations, and may want to cut salary in conjunction with that high pick. If the Kings can net that high of a pick by taking on a bad salary, I would definitely be concerned if they didn’t want to AT LEAST consider such an option. To be fair to Clipper fans, I only put them there because they could consider wanting to move a bad salary like Zach Randolph or Chris Kaman to trade away that top pick. I don’t know that they would do so, but it’s at least plausible. Hell, practically anything with that team is possible at this point.

The ideal scenario in my mind is a team would that would take Griffin 1st (One of the team’s that won’t trade the pick because they love Griffin too much), and the Thunder get the 2nd overall pick. If the Kings have the 3rd or 4th overall pick, the Kings can always maneuver around that and trade for Rubio with the 2nd overall pick. That’s just one scenario.

I won’t lay them all out here, but the end of the world is not the 4th overall pick. Chicago ended up getting the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 draft, and yet they traded down to the 4th overall pick that Portland had. Would you rather have LaMarcus Aldridge or Tyrus Thomas? (So, in a sense, while you’re deciding, remember that the apocalpyse is NOT coming regardless of where the Kings end up. They are definitely getting a shot at one of the best players, and as luck sometimes has it, the best player. Do not fret. The Kings are in a better position than pretty much anyone else here.)

Do you feel better now? If you don’t, I can’t help you. I’m not Dr. Ruth. Options is what you get here. And having the 4th pick as your WORST option gives the Kings a great deal more options than they’ve had since draft Billy Owens in 1991. I like the odds. That’s all I’m saying.

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