I have read multiple reports of rumors involving our 2nd draft pick and/or possible side deals in the making. I figured I would compile a list of the teams and players that have been mentioned in reports linked to Orlando. I am interested to read your thoughts…
Los Angeles Clippers - Resigning Chris Paul is obviously the #1 priority for the Clippers. Possibilities of Doc Rivers and even Kevin Garnett arriving in L.A. adds to the strength of the argument that the Clippers are in win now mode.
For LA, trading Butler can help keep costs down for 1 year, and adding a veteran presence like Afflalo could justify parting with an asset like Bledsoe. For Orlando, Bledsoe would get a one year audition with extended minutes before he becomes a RFA. I recognize the concerns that Bledsoe is not a true point guard, but this deal may be too good for Orlando to turn down. Butler's contract would come off the books after next season. Al Harrington or Andrew Nicholson may have to be thrown in to sweeten the deal.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Minnesota seems to be infatuated with Victor Oladipo. The Wolves have been discussing moving up for weeks now, and the 2nd pick seems like a natural place to land. With Charlotte (#4) and Phoenix (#5) possibly in the market for a SG, Orlando could be in a position to make a deal.
Williams is still young enough to settle in with a team and contribute in the right situation. Williams would add depth, but I feel like Orlando would make sense for Williams only if we parted with Nicholson and/or Glen Davis in some other deal down the road. Ridnour would be an excellent option as a back-up PG for one year; his contract would be off the books in 2014. At #9, Orlando could address their need for depth at either guard spot by selecting Trey Burke (who seems to be slipping a bit), Michael Carter-Williams, CJ McCollum, Dennis Schroeder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or Shabazz Muhammad.
Houston Rockets - Both Dallas and Houston will be part of the Howard sweepstakes. Cost cutting is a given when trying to make room for a max salary (or two) contract. Reports have surfaced that Dallas wants out of the lottery, and could package Marion's expiring deal to sweeten the deal. Houston would be willing to clear cap room by dealing 2012 Lottery pick Thomas Robinson.
Shawn Marion (Age: 35, PER: 18, ETO in 2013)
Thomas Robinson (Age: 22, PER: 11, signed through 2016)
Dallas and Houston are trying to clear space. They want no part of salary returning in any deal. Since 2nd round picks are non-guaranteed, those would be valuable in any deal going back to Dallas/Houston. Orlando could acquire the 13th pick from Dallas in return for the 51st pick this year, and a future 2nd round pick next year (or a future protected first sometime AFTER 2014). It doesn't seem like a lot for the Mavs, but they could be desperate to clear room. Marion's contract could come off the books rather quickly, or he could be flipped to a contender in another deal. The #13 pick could be used to select Carter-Williams, Schroeder, Caldwell-Pope, Muhammad, etc.
What was mentioned earlier about Derrick Williams applies to Thomas Robinson as well. He plays a position that is not necessarily a need for Orlando, but if a 2nd rd pick is all that is needed to make a deal happen, Orlando should think about pulling the trigger (especially if Davis, Nicholson, etc. are included in some other deal).
It is nice to know that Orlando has options, even in what is considered to be a "weak" draft. I am sure Rob Hennigan is considering these options, as well as others that are unknown at this time. If nothing is to occur, I expect either Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore to be the choice.