When the Los Angeles Clippers were awarded the number one pick in the ’09 NBA Draft, there were still some doubters that figured the team would find a way to screw it up. ‘They’re gonna trade it for another power forward and a player to be named later. The Clippers always screw everything up!’ LAC hung on to the pick and will now select the surest thing in the draft, Blake Griffin. Blake gives the Clip yet another power forward – when LA traded for Zach Randolph and Marcus Camby last season, there was already a log jam in the front court along side Chris Kaman. Now, it appears one of these big men will be moved in a hurry before the complaining begins: ‘It’s bad enough we have to play on the Clippers but now we can’t even play?’ LA’s general manager and head coach, Mike Dunleavy, joined 790 The Zone to discuss how GM’s should be thinking heading in to this year’s draft, his overloaded four and five spots, and Baron Davis’ summer routine which includes the dropping of 10 pounds.
After you draft Griffin, you’re overloaded at the power forward spot. Is there a trade in the works?
“I don’t know. Basically, right now, we’re kind of looking in to those different options. We haven’t done anything in that regard yet, these guys may be able to play together depending on certain circumstances. Overall, I think people know that we have a pretty good front line player that’s available and under the right circumstances we’d move him.”
Can you compare this year’s draft to last year’s?
“Last year’s draft was a more impactful draft. I think the top 10 last year, you had guys that would step in and play right away and put up some pretty strong numbers, and I think that’s what happened. I think in this year’s draft that the team getting the right player for their team, and their game, and their style of play is probably gonna be the most important thing for each one of these young guys coming in to the league.”
Are you focusing on getting Baron Davis back on track for next season?
“Obviously, there’s a major focus on that because that’s our big need. Last year, unfortunately, he came in and got injured in training camp, at the first game, missed the rest of the pre-season. After the second game of the season, he got injured again, was out for another prolonged period of time. At which time, I don’t think he ever did get back in shape for the full year. His numbers were what they were but I think they can be so much better. He’s been in the gym since May the 10th, working out, looking like he’s shooting the ball pretty well. His weight was down about 10 pounds, he’s on a little bit of a vacation right now, but I’m hoping that once he comes back that he can pick up right where he left off, and be really ready to go by the start of training camp.”