With the NBA draft starting at 4 p.m. Pacific time, the Clippers were still busy Thursday looking for ways to trade their first-round pick.
Clippers Coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers and his staff have been on the phone talking with teams about trading Los Angeles’ 28th draft pick in the first round in a package deal with Matt Barnes, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
At the top of Rivers’ list is a deal that would send L.A.’s pick and Barnes to the New York Knicks for swingman Iman Shumpert, whom the Clippers tried to acquire at the trade deadline.
Another possible deal had the Clippers trading the pick and Barnes to the Phoenix Suns for swingman Gerald Green, the executives said.
The 6-foot-4 Allen, who played for Rivers in Boston, is viewed by the coach and his staff as a shutdown defender who can help make it difficult on Oklahoma City Thunder MVP Kevin Durant.
The 6-8 Green, who also played for Rivers in Boston, is viewed by Rivers as an improvement for the Clippers at the small forward position.
Green had a break-out year in Phoenix last season mostly as a reserve, averaging a career-high in points (15.8), three-point shooting percentage (40%) and minutes per game (28.4).
The Suns already have three first-round draft picks (14, 18, 27), but could package one or more of those picks with the Clippers’ pick at 28 to get another player in a trade, the executive said.
Under an NBA rule that forbids a team from giving up a first-round pick in consecutive drafts, the Clippers can’t officially trade their pick until the draft starts.
The Clippers sent their 2015 first-round pick to Boston last summer as compensation for the Celtics allowing Rivers to join the Clippers while he was still under contract to the Celtics.
So the Clippers can’t trade their 2014 pick until right before they are ready to make the decision, and then they can trade his draft rights to another team, according to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.