Clippers’ potential trade partners to enter 2015 NBA Draft


Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; General view of the stage before the start of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NBA draft is rapidly approaching. So to prepare for what could be a thrilling night for the Los Angeles Clippers who are trying to acquire a pick, here’s a look at some of the teams they may try to trade with in order to enter the draft.

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As of right now, we know that Doc Rivers is intending to trade for a pick (read the full story here), and predicts that they are more likely to acquire a pick in the second round than the first. Considering the Clippers’ lack of disposable players and their limited funds, there really isn’t much chance of them being able to go after a first round talent. Although, for a team who primarily just needs role players to secure the bottom of their rotation, that really isn’t too worrying.

First and foremost, the Clippers will need to try and trade with teams that are armed with plenty of picks, who should be more willing to part with some. And as several teams have multiple selections in the second round, Doc Rivers may be able to pull off a deal so that he can land some new rookie talent.

The best case scenario is that the Clippers can try and buy a pick from another team. There are plenty of teams with several draft picks this year, and it’s fairly inevitable that teams are going to be willing to move some.

In terms of the Clippers’ possible trade assets, though, they don’t exactly have many choices. Jamal Crawford has already been reported as the key player in a deal that would involve him and C.J. Wilcox going to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Wilson Chandler (read more detail here). And with the 2015 NBA draft about to commence, there haven’t been any more developments to suggest that the Clippers are planning on trading anyone else of significance.

But then again, this is draft night. Anything can happen.

However, the main player we can expect to be traded for the Clippers to land a pick — if they can’t buy one — is Crawford, with another minor player to fill out the deal such as Wilcox. So, based upon the teams that can afford to lose a second round pick, here are some potential trade partners for Doc Rivers:

The Los Angeles Lakers

Armed with three picks (#2, #27 and #34) the Lakers are big players in the 2015 NBA draft. With the second pick, it’s widely believed they’ll take Duke star Jahlil Okafor. But if Okafor goes first and Karl-Anthony Towns is left available, the Lakers will probably snap up Towns in an instant. Their next two picks are far less valuable, though, and the 34th pick in particular could be a potential target for the Clippers.

The Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks also have three picks, including the 15th pick and two late ones (#50 and #59). They can draft a noteworthy prospect at #15, but picks in the fifties hardly hold too much value. Unless you’re the Clippers and desperately want to enter the draft.

This is where Doc Rivers may be able to make a trade.

Mar 28, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) is guarded by Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Zach Auguste (30) during the first half in the finals of the midwest regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves

With the 1st overall pick, the Timberwolves are most likely going to select the man who is arguably the best big man (and player) in the entire draft: Karl Towns. What may interest the Clippers, though, is that Minnesota also have two second round picks (#31 and #36). They may still be relatively high up in the draft, but if the Clippers are willing to pay enough, or perhaps even surprise us and trade Crawford for one of those picks (if they think the right player is available), the Timberwolves are definitely a possible trade partner for L.A..

The Philadelphia 76ers

The last team who the Clippers may well trade with are loaded with a rather ridiculous six picks. After their 3rd overall pick, the 76ers have five picks in the second round (#35, #37, #47, #58 and #60). Again, picks in the mid thirties will obviously ask more from the Clippers, but the 76ers’ final three picks are certainly points of the draft where L.A. may look to make their entrance for a relatively low price. Especially as the 76ers probably won’t want to be leaving tonight with a mini-squad of six new rookies. They’ll look to package some in deals to move up, or they may trade or sell some to buyers such as the Clippers.

If Doc Rivers can find a way to enter the 2015 NBA draft, it’s going to be an exciting night for Clippers’ fans to say the least. We’ll have to anxiously wait and see what happens, but don’t worry, there are plenty of potential trade targets for the Clippers to make something work.

Next: Breaking down the Clippers' top targets in the 2015 NBA Draft