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Potential For-Sale Draft Picks to Keep an Eye on

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With Doc Rivers admitting last week that he'd like to buy an early second-round pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, let's look at some slots that could be for sale.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers are rumored to be looking into buying a pick in the second round of Thursday's NBA draft, and it's likely that such a pick will be for sale, just as in most years.  Second round players hardly ever work out in the NBA, and lots of owners are cash-strapped and see the money that they get for a pick that's unlikely to turn out as a way of offsetting the cost of a player's raise that puts them into luxury tax territory.  Also, teams that have stockpiled picks in a series of trades could end up with 3 or more picks in the same draft, not wanting to carry that many rookies on their roster, and willing to get a few bucks instead of a player that they're gonna cut.

Atlanta has three picks, two of them late (#50 and #59).  Boston has 4 picks, one being #28 and 2 of them in the second round (#33 and #45).  Philadelphia has 6 picks (!!!!), five in the second round (#35, #37, #47, #58, #60).  Minnesota has three picks, two in the second round (#31 and #36).  Utah has three picks, two in the second round (#42 and #55).  The Lakers have three picks, including #27 and #34.  These are all teams that could have a pick for sale, but it's unlikely for a deal to be made until the last minute.  For example, Philadelphia certainly isn't going to carry six rookies into next season, including 5 second rounders who aren't likely to be rotation-caliber.  They'll be open to selling one or more of these picks, but first, they'll be trying to package them to move up.  They'll try #35 and #37 to get a late first, willing to take on the guaranteed contract that another team might seek to avoid.  They'll wait until the one guy that they really liked at #47 gets picked at #44 before moving the pick.

Even teams without multiple selections may be willing to sell the pick.  They'll have a big board, a list of the players that they like, in order, and somewhere on that board there'll be a cutoff, where if none of the top players are available, and a deal to sell the pick on the table, they'll take the money instead of the next guy on their list.  Of course, if the Clippers reach that point and none of the guys that they're interested in are still undrafted, Doc will have Ballmer put his checkbook away.

It's also unclear how much these picks will sell for.  Maybe the Clippers will jump the gun and just offer the full $3.3 million that they're allowed for the 2014-2015 season (which officially ends midnight July 1st when free agency begins anyway, so it's now or never).  Maybe they'll negotiate, and save the money to buy a few picks for international stashes or multiple options in training camp.  Late in the draft, it's a crapshoot.  Teams are basically playing the lottery, and the more tickets the Clippers buy, the more likely they are to find a diamond in the rough.

For reference, here are the players that the Clippers have worked out so far, along with their DraftExpress Top 100 Prospect ranking:

34. Richaun Holmes (6'10" Bowling Green PF)

42. LeBryan Nash (6'7" Oklahoma State SF)

49. Aaron White (6'9" Iowa PF)

52. Julian Washburn (6'8" UTEP SF)

55. Quinn Cook (6'2" Duke PG)

56. Vince Hunter (6'8" UTEP PF)

63. Chris Walker (6'10" Florida PF/C)

68. Brad Waldow (6'10" St. Mary's C)

69. Treveon Graham (6'6" VCU SG/SF)

70. Dez Wells (6'4" Maryland SG)

76. Branden Dawson (6'7" Michigan State PF)

77. Chasson Randle (6'2" Stanford PG/SG)

80. TaShawn Thomas (6'8" Oklahoma PF)

81. Sam Thompson (6'7" Ohio State SF)

84. Ryan Boatright (5'11" UConn PG)

85. Keifer Sykes (6'0" UW-Green Bay PG)

86. Shannon Scott (6'2" Ohio State PG)

87. Joshua Smith (6'10" Georgetown C)

88. Sir'Dominic Pointer (6'5" St. John's SF)

89. Wesley Saunders (6'5" Harvard SG)

93. Rayvonte Rice (6'4" Illinois SG)

95. Yanick Moreira (6'11" SMU C)

NR. David Kravish (6'10" Cal PF)

NR. Travis Trice (6'0" Michigan State PG)

NR. Matt Stainbrook (6'10" Xavier C)

NR. Andre Hollins (6'2" Minnesota PG)

NR. Christopher Anderson (5'7" San Diego PG)

NR. Dwayne Polee (6'7" San Diego State SF)

NR. Ralston Turner (6'5" N.C. State G)

NR. Phil Greene IV (6'2" St. John's G)

NR. Maurice Walker (6'10" Minnesota C)

The Clippers seem to have set themselves up nicely, with a few guys that they like in the early second round, a bunch of guys they've tried out later in the second, and a few dozen potential summer camp guys, who could be a shot in the dark addition as an undrafted free agent (don't scoff; Matthew Dellavedova just scored 20 points in an NBA finals game after being undrafted two years ago).  Either way, heading in to the draft, these are the names to keep an eye on and familiarize yourselves with so that you can irrationally bash Doc Rivers for not picking the guy you like best based off of a few games you may have watched and some stats you looked up.  It's draft week, ladies and gentlemen--time for the warm-up craziness before the free agency chaos begins in just over a week.