If hoping, wishing, praying and keeping your fingers crossed isn’t enough to bring Oklahoma City the No. 1 overall pick Tuesday night during the NBA Draft Lottery, there is one last possibility that could put Blake Griffin in a Thunder uniform. A trade. It’s the unlikeliest of possibilities. Only twice in NBA history has a team with the first pick traded the selection. But, hey, it could happen, especially since there seems to be a few teams in lottery land in position to part with Griffin should they land the top spot. But any hope of the Thunder brokering a trade is contingent on Oklahoma City jumping to the second overall pick and selecting Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, the consensus No. 2 prospect if he stays in the draft. Here are the best destinations for the No. 1 pick if it doesn’t fall to the Thunder.
Sacramento Kings→Where they’re slotted to pick: First, with a 25 percent chance at No. 1. →Why they could trade Blake: They spent the past two lottery picks on big men Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson. They have an overpaid, underachieving point guard in Beno Udrih and have owners who are in the entertainment business. In Sacramento, Rubio’s flashy playmaking — think former King Jason Williams — could be a bigger draw than Griffin’s electrifying dunks. And a playmaker like Rubio could get the most out of the current talent the Kings already have. →Odds: 4.5 percent.
Los Angeles Clippers→Where they’re slotted to pick: Third, with a 17.7 percent chance at No. 1. →Why they could trade Blake: The Clippers’ openness to shipping injury-prone point guard Baron Davis back to Golden State has grown from a whisper to a roar. If the Clippers can undo the $65 million mistake they made last summer, they’re likely to do so in a heartbeat. And Rubio could serve as more than a sufficient young replacement. L.A. also has a talented frontcourt with Chris Kaman (although injury prone), Zach Randolph (although a headache) and Marcus Camby (although aging). →Odds: 2.1 percent.
Minnesota Timberwolves→Where they’re slotted to pick: Fifth, with a 7.6 percent chance at No. 1. →Why they could trade Blake: They retooled their frontcourt by trading Kevin Garnett to Boston for Al Jefferson and O.J. Mayo to Memphis for Kevin Love. They’re set up front. Meanwhile, their point guards, Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair, are inconsistent and don’t appear to be the long term solution. →Odds: 3.4 percent.
New York Knicks→Where they’re slotted to pick: Eighth, with a 2.8 percent chance at No. 1. →Why they could trade Blake: The Knicks already have a double-double machine on their roster in David Lee, who just turned 26 last month. Chris Duhon, despite averaging a career-high 7.2 assists last year, is better suited off the bench. And you have to believe coach Mike D’Antoni covets a crafty playmaker like Rubio after seeing what Steve Nash did to make his system hum. →Odds: 0.2 percent.