The Belmont Stakes is being held today, which makes me think back to the 1973 race when Secretariat won by a ridiculous 31 lengths — or roughly the same distance between Blake Griffin and everybody else in this month’s NBA Draft. The June 25 draft has been deemed a three-horse race. Griffin no doubt will win, but who will place, who will show and with which teams? The Los Angeles Clippers own the top pick, unless they find some reason to trade Secretariat. What happens with the second pick could end up rearranging the top half of the draft board. This is why all eyes actually should be on the Memphis Grizzlies, not the Clippers. Unless Thunder general manager Sam Presti somehow is able to trade up from the No. 3 position, the Thunder once again will have to react to the team that chooses directly in front of it. This happened two years ago with the two-horse race between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Portland picked Oden first, and Presti promptly picked Durant, who has become one of the draft’s great no-brainer selections of all-time. If the Grizzlies choose 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet with the No. 2 pick, it leaves 6-foot-4 point guard Ricky Rubio for the Thunder This would seem to give the Thunder its greatest leverage. More teams are in need of a point guard, and the Thunder is adamant it has filled that position with the Russell Westbrook Project. If the Thunder is able to pick Rubio at No. 3, it could trade his rights for a proven player plus a draft pick not far down the line this year or a first-rounder next year. The next five teams in this year’s lottery could all use a point guard — Sacramento (No. 4), Washington (No. 5), Minnesota (No. 6), Golden State (No. 7) and New York (No. 8). If one of those teams is enamored with Rubio, the Thunder could work a deal. Trouble is, the Grizzlies likely are thinking the exact same thing. Rubio at No. 2 also figures to give Memphis more trade leverage than picking Thabeet. Of course, the Grizzlies might actually want Rubio or Thabeet, and the Thunder might actually want Thabeet or Rubio. If that’s the case, the swap meet is canceled. Rubio’s signability is in question. Members of the Rubio camp have strongly suggested being picked later than No. 3 would be financially unacceptable. Rubio has a monstrous buyout from his current contract with the Spanish club DKV Joventut Badalona. The buyout reportedly is $6.6 million if it’s paid before June 30 and $8 million if paid after that. Some sort of compromise is expected to be reached. NBA teams are limited to contribute $500,000 to a player’s buyout. If Rubio is unhappy with his draft selection, he could choose to not sign and return to Spain. (Forward Fran Vazquez was drafted No. 11 overall by Orlando in 2005 and remained in Spain.) If this is truly Rubio’s stance on his draft selection, the Grizzlies and Thunder could both bypass Rubio, placing the onus of signing him on other teams. Rubio’s buyout reportedly goes up the following season, which means the 18-year-old feasibly might not join the league until 2011-12. John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.