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News » Thunder has shot at Griffin

Thunder has shot at Griffin

Thunder has shot at Griffin
Hours after last Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery, the official Web site for the lottery-winning Los Angeles Clippers had already plastered a photo of Blake Griffin on its home page in hopes of generating season ticket sales.

But by Friday morning, the team's site had adjacent shots of Griffin and Ricky Rubio, implying this year's top selection is a debate rather than the no-brainer decision that led general manager and coach Mike Dunleavy to pronounce, "Clearly we're taking Blake Griffin."

It was a not-so subtle switcheroo that suggested Griffin might not find his way on the Clippers' roster after all come opening night, and the Thunder still has a shot at nabbing the homegrown star forward.

Internet rumors have already grown out of control less than a week after the lottery, with reports claiming to know who Team A is high on and what Team B will do. But depending on what you believe to be the truth, things could be lining up favorably for Oklahoma City.

The Clippers reportedly want to move veteran point guard Baron Davis, one of those easier-said-than-done tasks considering he's owed $54 million over the next four years. But if L.A. finds a taker it could leave the Clippers with a huge hole at point guard and a pressing need for Rubio.

Memphis, owner of the No. 2 selection, reportedly is going gaga over Connecticut's 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet. The Grizzlies already have point guard Mike Conley, who they selected fourth overall in 2007, and could risk passing on adding another playmaker in Rubio.

That would make Rubio available to the Thunder at No. 3 and open the door for a swap with the Clippers for Griffin.

And you can forget about packaging Jeff Green or Russell Westbrook to land Griffin, although any potential negotiating by L.A. is sure to start there. But Thunder general manager Sam Presti likely wouldn't part with Green or Westbrook and the No. 3, and history suggests he might not have to.

Let's revisit the 1993 draft.

There was a power forward named Chris Webber who declared following his sophomore season. He was the consensus No. 1 pick out of Michigan and went first overall to the Orlando Magic.

A point guard prodigy named Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was also available. The Golden State Warriors were able to select him third overall only because the Philadelphia 76ers, with the No. 2 pick, went gaga over a 7-foot-5 center out of BYU named Shawn Bradley.

The Magic and Warriors swapped selections, with Golden State also giving up three future first-round picks for Webber's services.

The Thunder sits in position to do the same with two potential lottery picks to offer next year, its own and Phoenix's. OKC could also throw in its 2011 first-round pick and still avoid mortgaging its future by building a core that includes Westbrook, Green, Griffin and Kevin Durant.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 28, 2009


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