According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los aAngeles, the Los Angeles Clippers have expressed the desire to trade up in the 2014 NBA Draft. From ESPN Los Angeles:
The Clippers have an interest in trading up from their No. 28 pick in the first round of the draft, according to sources, but it’s not clear whether they have the assets to do so. If they stay at No. 28, there are several directions they could go, so the team has thus far cast a wide net in player evaluations.
In a draft which has been heralded as one of the deepest in years, it makes sense for the Clippers to want to move up. Unfortunately, as Shelbure points out, the Clippers have no assets in their arsenal to do so. Based on their current roster, their biggest assets are Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. With those three far from available unless LeBron James or Kevin Durant become readily available, that leaves J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, and Reggie Bullock as the next set of assets that could draw interest from other clubs around the association.
With Redick a player Doc Rivers honed in on personally last summer, it’s hard to see him being paired with the 28th overall pick in order to move up, leaving Bullock and Crawford as the remaining ‘assets’. Bullock is an obvious pick. He’s a young shooting guard who perfectly fits the mold of your typical “3-and-D” player. Defensively, Bullock has the potential to be one of the better defending two-guards in the NBA today. Offensively, he’s yet to find his rhythm after facing spotty minutes during his rookie season, but if his collegiate skills carry over properly, there’s no reason to believe he can’t match his defensive talent with three-point talent.
Crawford is a trickier subject. Coming off a year where he was awarded Sixth Man of the Year, it’s hard judging Crawford’s value around the league. Not much has changed in his game. He’s a scorer, more-so the microwave type, being able to pile on points in bunches, but at age 34, it’s a safe bet that there is little room for growth. More importantly, only ~$1.5 million of Crawford’s $5.45 million is guaranteed next summer. A team could look to acquire Crawford, only to dumb him in order to clear cap space. It doesn’t sound ideal, but with teams looking to avoid the luxury tax or acquire top talent in free agency, that’s a method that could come in handy.
With the draft a week away, we’ll see if the Clippers make progress on their attempts to move up in the draft.