A couple of redundancies to start; all of these comments are predicated on the following assumptions:
- You've read Assigning Ricky Rubio Trade Limits by Section214 (this was originally a comment for that thread, but just got too long)
- After a 17-win season, "best player available" should be the draft strategy for the Kings
- All player specifics are "GP" picks (i.e. moving up/drafting "Player X" because GP wants him, not because I do)
- NOBODY on the roster is untouchable
- Presently, Martin, Thompson, & Hawes are the core of the team
- I like Greene, and would like to see him given a shot at becoming part of the above-mentioned core
All that said, here's where I currently stand on draft picks/trades...
My first thought looking at Section's "max" offers was that his ceiling was actually pretty low (for a refresher, see below):
The #4 and #23 pick and Kenny Thomas (1 yr. @ $9 million) to Memphis for the #2 pick and Marco Jaric (2 yrs. @ $15 million).
The #4 and #23 pick and Donté Greene to OKC for the #3 and #25 pick.
The only things he mentions giving up is the oft-maligned "K9's
Never-Ending(woof!--wait, what?) Expiring Contract", Donté Greene, & late first rounders (apologies to #31 . . . you're basically a first).
Again, at first glace that doesn't seem to me like much to give up to go from non-Franchise pick to FRANCHISE PICK . . . but apparently many thought he was all but mortgaging the future of the team (stand by, Captain Hyperbole).
K9(woof!)'s EXPIRING Contract
FINALLY! I can't believe it's happening: the 2nd phase of the C-Webb deal that I've waited years for. Will he bring in a piece of the future core for the next great Kings squad via trade, or will his contract cap space be used to sign that player in 2010? Let's just say, I won't be holding my breath.
If K9's Expiring Contract (K9EC) can move the Kings into Franchise Player range in the draft, then the C-Webb deal might be reclassified from "necessary salary cap deal" into the category of "good basketball trade". I'll state it again, "anything" positive that can be acquired from K9EC must be seriously considered . . . SERIOUSLY.
Donté hasn't proven anything on the court yet; therefore, he should not be a deal-breaker in acquiring a potential Franchise Player. GP shouldn't be pushing Donté on other teams, obviously, but he also shouldn't hang up on them if they want him enough to break off negotiations.
I haven't been extremely diligent in reading Fan Posts lately, but I don't recall anyone saying that Martin should be used to swap picks. I saw (and made) some comments that if Martin's value could be replaced (in a reasonable capacity) with the pick at #4 that it would be worth looking into trading him for a player at #1 or #2 to fill another need. In Martin's case, I was also of the mindset that if Denver collapsed this year (this was pre-Billups) that he could be the centerpiece of a Carmelo Anthony trade (shades of Richmond-Webber) this summer. That is obviously not happening now . . . but those are the kinds of deals where moving Martin might make sense.
Shock & Hawes
2a & 2b of the future core have a lot of promise. That said, both were "surprise" success stories (Shock more so than Hawes, but still). Trading either of them for a higher ceiling player should not be dismissed out of hand. [I'll take this opportunity to reiterate that I am not using myself as a talent evaluator, but that I trust the GP braintrust.] If Griffin/Rubio are Franchise-caliber players, then trading a current piece of the core for a better core piece is a net positive (please don't forget this when considering trades). In the case of Griffin, if he is even an annual All-Star contender, then that could be a significant upgrade over either of the bigs currently on the roster.
There currently seem to be two schools of thought in "The-Kings-Can-Draft-Rubio" debate: (1) he'll drop to #4, or (2) he could reasonably be acquired through trade at #2, or #3. If the teams at 2 & 3 don't want him, but aren't locked on to Thabeet . . . that's potentially a lot of trade value for them. Add to that the fact that either team could take on salary and that's a double-whammy. One of the best things that the Kings have in their favor is that a trade involving a pick-swap is an easy sell, because the drop isn't very far (e.g. 2-to-4 is potentially a lot more palatable than 2-to-6), and has happened enough as to be a reasonable thought.
If Griffin/Rubio are the only --assuming there are any-- Franchise Players in this draft, then acquiring the #2 would be huge for this franchise (and as has also been mentioned, would go a long way towards keeping the team local and possibly even pushing the arena situation forward).
The other great thing about getting #2 before the draft is that you put yourself in position to pick up the pieces of a Clippers-pick Fallout (e.g. Thabeet/Rubio at #1) . . . again, if Blake is the guy in the draft.
Since this was originally a comment in a heavily populated thread, I don't know where to direct the conversation at this point. A lot has already been said in Section's original post and this was really an extension of that conversation, I just thought that the length of this "comment" outgrew it's original intention . . . so run with it or simply move on. I won't be hurt if this dies an anonymous death, but I'd be thrilled if this opened up the dialog even more.
In conclusion, as my buddy's alcoholic Dad used to always say: "If IFs were fifths, we'd all be f---in' DRUNK." Stay thirsty, my friends.