Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of conversation here regarding trading up or down in the draft, and there has been at least some level of frustration that we are not doing anything to imporve our situation. While I share the frustration (doesn't the 9th pick look oh so much better than the 12th pick right now?), I'm not sure that anything can be done about it.
The Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies are (supposedly) having conversations about swapping picks. Memphis would send Miami Mike Miller, Kyle Lowry (though Miami wants MIke Conley) and the #5 pick for something like Mark Blount, Daequan Cook and the #2 pick. If this is true, we don't have nearly the components to make such a deal. The closest we could come would be Hawes, Salmons and the #12, and that offer pales when compared to the Grizzlies package.
So let's think the #7 spot, one ahead of Milwaukee, which would likely secure us Joe Alexander or one of Bayless/Westbrook/Augustin. What do we have that would excite the Clippers enough to trade down five slots? I don't think Salmons or Moore would do it, they wouldn't want Miller, we can't trade Ron on draft night. Would you swap Garcia or Hawes for Brevin Knight to move up five spots in this draft?
So we get to #12 and there are five or six guys that we like about the same. Let's trade down. The problem here is two pronged. First, you have to find a trade partner within the next five picks that does lust after a specific player. Second, they have to have something that you want and that they are willing to give up to move up a few spots. Let's eliminate Portland and Golden State from this conversation, as I just can't envision them giving anything up to move up two slots. Phoenix may like Brandon Rush enough to want to insure securing him. But I don't know that the #12 and John Salmons would be enough to secure the #15 and Barbosa, especially since there has been conversations with the Suns and the Clippers regarding their #7 and Corey Maggette.
I can't figure out a deal with Philly. Toronto has Ford. If Toronto wanted to swap picks as part of a Salmons for Ford deal, would you do it? That seems like an awful lot for Ford, but when healthy Ford is legit and you're still drafting at #17 (and you've retained your 2nd round picks). I should note that this deal might not even work as Ford is a BYC player, and if it did work it would drive the Kings right to the cap limit, so it's bye bye Beno (or anybody else). If you don't make this deal you now need to drop to #18 or below to make a deal.
Washington has Brendan Haywood, but you would have to (a) like him and (b) either give up Salmons, Moore, or Williams/Douby to make the deal work. Is that enough juice to make that deal? Cleveland really has nothing that they could trade us. Denver showed last year that they don't want to part with Kleiza, and while GP has interest in Nene he is not interested in his 4 year, $43 million contract. The Nuggets have been talking to the Nets about Macus Camby. Would they swap picks with us and send us Camby for Salmons and Moore, or Salmon, Douby and Williams? Doubtful.
Would New Jersey (at #21) swap the enigmatic Marcus Williams and their pick for the #12 and Douby? Would we want to do that?
I can't find another deal until I get to Seattle at #24. Watson and the #24 for Moore and the #12. Yuck. And at this point you've pretty much traded out of the wheelhouse of the 1st round.
My long drawn out point is that I don't think that it's a matter of Geoff Petrie not wanting to make a deal. I think it's a matter that he doesn't have the working pieces to execute a deal. Such is the problem of a team on the rebuild. Teams like Portland and Atlanta have the working pieces to move around on draft day, but that is a result of them sucking longer than the Kings, which resulted in consistently higher draft picks. Kevin Pritchard has done some really slick stuff in Portland, but without the picks he does not have Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy on the roster (I know, Aldridge and Roy were technically draft day trades, but they were made possible because the Blazers had high draft picks).
OK, kids. Pens and paper out, and click on shamsports or Hoopshype or wherever you like to go for salary information. Your assignment is to craft a draft day deal that works. Ron Artest is excused from this exercise for good behavior. Eyes on your own paper, and begin.