Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Dunleavy is hard

Every year at Blazer's Edge we have a mock draft, much like they do at other sites. One of the great things about our mock draft is that different readers are assigned the roles of various GMs, and we are allowed to try our hands at trades and other things that swirl around the real draft. It's a lot of fun, and it gives us a sense of what might really be happening in the league around the big day. Last year I got to be the Grizzlies, a team with two picks and good position, but somehow screwed it up and forgot all about it on the day of the mock draft. I was really disappointed in myself, and ended up not making any picks (Dave had accounted for this possibility and had backups ready).

This year I was given a second chance and the role of Clippers GM. As we've come closer to the mock draft – which starts at 11 am today – I have been trying to do as much as possible to help out the Clips organization. The first thing I wanted to do was draft Bake Griffin. The second thing I wanted to do was open up space in the front court and open up space in the locker room by moving Zach Randolph. I started talking with the Grizzlies GM, since they had professed a desire for a big time low post scorer who also would bring in the rebounds. Zach Randolph can do both of those things. The Grizzlies GM had also suggested that he didn't really want Rubio, which meant that I was gunning for the second pick as well. The initial proposal I came with was this one:

The Grizzlies GM said that he didn't really want Randolph and would rather have one of my other bigs, but suggested he would perhaps take Al Thornton to make a Randolph deal work. At that point I suggested adding Thornton and Gay, a deal he quickly turned down.

With the knowledge that Memphis thought Thornton needed to be in the deal, and also wanting to rid my team of two other impediments to Griffin growing into the leader in the locker room – namely Baron and Ricky Davis – I started looking for potential partners with them. The Rockets were shopping McGrady, and I knew that there had been interest in Baron Davis at one point from their end. If I was going to be able to get the rights to Rubio from the Grizzlies then it would be worth it to get rid of Baron, so I wanted to make these two deals, the Rockets deal contingent on the Grizzlies deal:

The Memphis deal would send the Clippers the rights to Ricky Rubio, and the team would move forward building around Gordon, Rubio, Griffin, and Kaman. I would have cut Buckner with his non-guarantied contract, and then had expiring Darko and T-Mac deals to work with either at the deadline or next summer when the big guys became free agents. Imagine LeBron joining Gordon, Rubio, Griffin, and Kaman in Los Angeles and taking the Clippers to the title.

The Grizzlies deal never happened, so I was never able to offer the deal to the Rockets (which wouldn't have flown in the mock draft anyway because it wasn't actually related to the draft). This is the sort of stuff I was trying to do to make the Clippers better, a tough prospect considering the way Dunleavy has destroyed them in recent years.

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