I have been contemplating what we will do with the 19th pick since the end of the regular season and I have come to the conclusion that there are essentially three different directions we can go, try to trade up, trade out for an asset or draft a player with the 19th pick. We need a trade partner if we try to trade up, who could that be and which player would we target? Or we could trade out, parlaying this pick with other assets for future picks or a player that suits a position of need. The final option is to draft whichever player is ranked highest on our board at that time. Now I know we do not even know the order of the lottery and we have not had workouts or interviews and it is nearly impossible to predict what Chris Grant and company decide to do with this pick and this is all just speculation and opinions, but isn't this what we always do? So let's dig in!
Let me expand my thoughts on the option for trading up. One thing I know for sure is that we do not bring in four rookies into summer this year, I base this on the comments made by Grant last year about having four picks in a draft; that is too much youth on a team that is already among the youngest. So we could package picks like we did in 2012. Last year's move to grab Zeller, I believe, was completely situational; we were not targeting Zeller in any way but when we saw him beginning to fall past where he was on our big board, Grant jumped on the horn and got a value pick. If we trade up again this year I think we have to see a player begin to slide or we simply need to have a player ranked higher than our perspective trade partner. We cannot accurately predict who will slide but we could evaluate which teams are prospective partners by evaluating on whether or not they may draft by need or talent. Maybe the Thunder are a potential target since not many rookies will contribute to the team next year or the possibly someone like the Sixers or Blazers who need some more retooling?
Maybe we do not like what is on the board at 19 and decide to trade out, much like the Browns did this year, to get another pick in a deeper draft next year (one thing to note is that we already have 4 four picks and potentially 5 with that stupid SAC pick). More likely, if we trade out, we try and package our picks to either move up in 2014's draft or grab a player that would add depth to our shallow roster. Worldwide Mourt already put together a nice list of potential targets in a fanpost so i will not go into which players we should try and trade for, well that and I am lazy. But I think this is a more likely option than the first because there is a lot more flexibility.
Finally the last, and I think the most likely, option is to draft a player with the 19th overall pick. I realize we do not know where our first pick is and if we do draft here the player we take will likely depend on the result of our lottery pick. But I would like to bring up the age old debate of value versus need, specifically at this pick though. I doubt we are going to find a future perennial all-star here, not saying it could not happen, but I think we could potentially add a regular rotational player coming off the bench. With that being said, and with our bench the way it is, do we draft the best available player here regardless of position who could instantly put in meaningful minutes with the second unit? I think we just need talent on our bench, a sixth man type player who can come out and help sustain leads and create his own. When our bench was productive last year and we were healthy we actually look like a good team, so I am all for getting a play maker here. If we draft a shooting forward I would honestly love to see us pick another wing player who could create offense and shoulder some of the scoring load from the bench.
Out of these options we have to go with what will make us a better team for the sustainable future. I think I am with everyone on here when I say we need to be fighting for something other than more ping pong balls at the end of next season, but that does not necessarily mean we do not go for a higher draft pick next year. We still have to keep our sight on the horizon instead of on the ground directly in front of us. Nobody at this moment, not even Chris Grant, knows what we will do with the 19th pick, but I am bored so let's speculate.