Clippers will try to trade for a 2015 NBA Draft pick


May 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers watches play against the Houston Rockets in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Rockets won 124 to 103. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers’ rebuilding process is off to a quick start, and they will continue by trying to acquire a pick for the 2015 NBA draft.

More from Clipperholics

After trading Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes for Lance Stephenson, and becoming one of just two teams (the other being the Washington Wizards) that Paul Pierce will likely sign with, the Clippers’ summer has been nothing other than exciting so far. They’ve added rebounding, defense and athleticism with Stephenson, and if they manage to sign Pierce with a contract of around $3.4 million, they’ll have successfully addressed their two key weaknesses already: poor depth and lacking veteran leadership.

However, one trade is just the beginning. The Clippers have shown a clear interest in the 2015 NBA draft through the sheer amount of prospects they’ve been working out in recent weeks. Now, though, Alex Kennedy (the managing editor of Basketball Insiders), has reported that the Clippers definitely want to get their hands on a pick:

It’s very encouraging to see how proactive Doc Rivers has been so far in turning the Clippers around this summer. He’s ready to go for the kinds of trades and significant changes to his bench that can make L.A. go from being just a start-studded and star-reliant team, to a genuine contender with the kind of depth and leadership that can carry a team deep into the playoffs.

As has been reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN, Rivers is willing to get creative, and wants to add several new players to his roster:

"“We’re going to be very creative. We have a pretty good plan in place. It started [Monday] and we feel comfortable with where we’re at. It’s going to be a tough, long summer for us. I think we’ve improved our team by bringing Lance on. When you look at a trade and Red Auerbach always said the team that gets the best player in the trade, gets the best trade. In this case, I think Lance is the best player in this trade for us. We’ve already done that, and we clearly have more to do. We have to. We have to add a couple more, three or four more players, in my opinion, to our roster.”"

It’s unclear who else the Clippers will target at this stage, although one possibility that has emerged is a trade that would send Jamal Crawford and C.J. Wilcox to the Denver Nuggets, in exchange for small forward Wilson Chandler (read the full story here).

Apr 12, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi (18) guards Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) in the third quarter at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets defeated the Kings 122-111. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency trades aside, though, if the Clippers can land a pick to acquire a rookie talent in the rapidly approaching NBA draft, they’ll have yet another player who can fill out the bottom of their rotation, even if it’s with only 5-10 minutes a game.

It’s far more likely that the Clippers will trade for a second round pick than a first, as Doc Rivers himself has said “I would say if we did (trade for a pick), it would probably be second more than first round” (per Arash Markazi). However, this year’s draft class certainly has a lot of depth. And now that the Clippers are stuck with Glen Davis as the primary big man to support Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, it should certainly be in their interests to add a some young talent to their frontcourt.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but now that it seems almost certain that they’ll trade for a pick, the Clippers’ draft night just got a lot more interesting.

Next: Dwyane Wade interested in signing with Clippers