I just attended a press availability with coach/GM Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Assistant GM Neil Olshey in advance of this week's draft. There wasn't a lot of breaking news, as you might imagine. But it more or less confirms what we thought we knew going into the draft.
- The Clippers say they're not really 'putting out feelers' on big man trades, but rather that teams are calling them. Still, Olshey admitted that something needs to be worked out by November. I suppose it's possible that the 'something' could well be just a fuller understanding of minutes distribution. At any rate, the Clippers maintain that they are not 'sellers' in this market and are not in a rush to shed a big man. (Related to this, the recent Mike Miller rumor feels wrong to me, if only because I can't imagine that the Clippers would counter Mike Miller for Kaman with Miller for Camby. The possible advantage of dealing Kaman is that it removes a long term contract and with it a long term front court log jam. It's my understanding that they'd much sooner trade Kaman than Camby, all other things being equal.)
- I asked about the possibility of acquiring another pick, and basically both men said what they've said before: they're looking at it, and don't be surprised if they pick up a late first round pick or a second round pick. Although the Clippers have not held a single workout beyond Griffapalooza, MDsr and NO have attended several of the group workouts that have been organized around the league. So they've seen a lot of players in those settings. MDsr went ahead and confirmed some of the conventional wisdom - that there are teams out there with big payrolls who would just as soon sell a pick that has little chance of helping their team this season. Buying picks is straight out of the Portland play book, and they've done it well to the tune of Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez - it would be very out of character in general for the Clippers, but they seem to be pursuing it, and as Olshey rightly pointed out, the team has hardly been a bystander in transacting business the last couple of seasons.
Dena from the Clippers will likely have the full video of both sessions available on Clippers.com soon ([Note by Steve Perrin, 06/22/09 5:28 PM PDT ] up now, Olshey / MDsr and a hat tip to Citizen Lawler's Law for getting them into the FanShots) and Kevin had his Flip video camera running as well, so keep an eye on Clipperblog as well if you want to see it all (MDsr). Like I said, nothing much new coming out of the session, but it seems like Thursday could be eventful, even beyond the first pick.
One last note - Al Thornton is in the house, going through a workout.