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Return of the Secaucus 14 - Draft Lottery Open Thread

Here we go. 

If you want to see what other lottery team fans are talking about, check out the threads on other sites.

(I've listed the SBNation blog where available.  Does that make me a homer?  I dunno.  In each case, it's the blog I reference.  There are other blogs of course.  But it's easier to join in the conversation on the SBNation blogs since you can register easily, etc.)

Here are the complete odds for the 14 lottery teams:



I haven't checked to see how often this happens, but this year every team has their own pick in the lottery.  That's an indication that teams are getting more savvy with lottery protection of traded picks, not too mention more reluctant to trade first round picks in general.  Of course the Clippers still own a future first rounder from the Wolves, but it remains top 10 protected through 2011.  Jeremy Tyler in 2011?

Usually the Clippers send either their general manager or their coach to represent the team in the lottery.  That means, for years it's been either Elgin Baylor or Mike Dunleavy Sr.  Given that MDsr wears both the hats currently, you might expect that he would be representing the team in Secaucus.  Not so.  This year, it's club president Andy Roeser.  Why?  Who knows?  MDsr has been in Spain checking out Ricky Rubio, so maybe that's the only reason.  Or maybe they're trying to change up their luck.  Or maybe there's a more sinister reason.  But it probably means nothing.

As we discussed, this looks like a two player draft at this point, and the Clippers odds of getting one of the first two picks is 35%.  So get out your rabbit's foot, take the shoe off the horse, and handle all of your mirrors with extra care.  We need a little luck in this one.

If they get the first pick, they'll draft Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin, as will any other team that picks first.  Chad Ford calls it Griffin's worst nightmare, but I don't see why it's any better or worse.  I think he's a good fit for the Clippers, though it makes it pretty important to try to move Zach Randolph, which won't be easy.

If they get the second pick, they'll draft Ricky Rubio, the teenage Spanish point guard.  The rumor making the rounds is that to make room for Rubio the Clippers will immediately try to ship Baron Davis to Golden State for Corey Maggette if this happens, but I'm not buying that.  Rubio's still a kid and whereas he would certainly be the point guard of the future, it's hard to imagine him starting 18 games next season.  With Baron's trade value at rock bottom, better to keep both for awhile and hope that Baron rehabs his reputation some.

Any thing other than first or second, and there's not much point in predicting who the Clippers will take at this point.  With the draft still a month away, lots will change.  Ford has them taking Hasheem Thabeet.  Whatev.  It's way too early to say.

My feeling is that there won't be much difference between picking third and picking sixth, so if LA doesn't come away with one of the top two picks, it's pretty much the same from there.  As of now, I'm not excited about anyone else in this draft after Griffin and Rubio.  Undoubtedly, we'll talk ourselves into someone between now and the draft - that's how it works - and to be certain there will be very good NBA players in this draft beyond the top two picks.  But whether those few solid pros, maybe even all star level players, are picked third, or sixth, or 27th, no one really knows.