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Clippers say no regrets for not protecting lottery pick

May 18, 2011, 10:18 AM EDT

Mo Williams Clippers Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers will select Kyrie Irving with the top pick in the 2011 NBA Draft — not with their own pick, but the one they got in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers at the deadline.

That deal was a salary dump by the Clippers — they wanted out of the two years and $28.7 million owed Davis. They didn’t love this draft. So they sent Davis and an unprotected first round pick for Mo Williams (two years, $17 million) and Jamario Moon (off the books this summer).

That pick had only a 2.8 percent chance of being the No. 1 pick. But folks, that is why you top-three protect picks like that.

Clippers GM Neil Olshey spun the “no regrets” line at Scott Howard-Cooper of after the draft.

“Protecting the pick was never an option,” L.A. general manager Neil Olshey told “There is no way to Monday morning quarterback this (since) our draft position wouldn’t have been the same had we not made the deal as I’m sure we would not have finished 11-11 post-trade without Mo Williams.

“Additionally, we had a 97-percent chance of sitting here tonight with Baron Davis (taking up 25 percent of our cap), the eighth pick in a weak draft and no cap flexibility. Adding Mo Williams and $8.5 million in cap room gave us a better opportunity to become a playoff team next year than adding a seventh player under 23 with no NBA experience.”

The trade was still a smart one by the Clippers, except for protecting the pick. Which came back to bite them. Olshey suggested that protecting it would have killed the deal, and the chance was so remote that’s why they didn’t push.

But next year, in some similar situation, another GM is going to remember what happened to the Clippers and insist on top-three protections for the pick. (Meaning the next year’s pick would go to the trading partner.) And watch, the deal will still get done.

  1. mondzy805 - May 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    At least they got rid of Baron Davis contract.

  2. chargerdillon - May 18, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    The Clippers are the worst franchise in all of Sports.

    • cosanostra71 - May 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      Pittsburgh Pirates definitely give them a run for their money.

      • philtration - May 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        At least the Pirates have had success in their history and were not always a joke.
        For every step the Clippers take forward they take two or three steps back.

        It is the owner.
        Biggest turd in professional sports.

    • kyleortonsarm - May 18, 2011 at 7:04 PM

      You’re forgetting about the Failadelphia Eagles and their history of ineptitude and futility come playoff time.

  3. SmackSaw - May 18, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    #1 picks never turn out well for the Clippers. It’s a well known fact.

  4. ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    uh…it was still a good deal…uh…except for the actual deal…

    • savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Haha keep it up, I love what you are doing here. I am willing to bet Kurt deletes your comments before he addresses what he wrote.

    • cosanostra71 - May 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      It’s amazing that after winning the #1 draft pick, you’re still butthurt.

    • cosanostra71 - May 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Also, this is the last time that I’m going to address you guys because you’re getting ridiculous, but stop acting like this is the first time a trade backfired. I’m sure you were talking about how the Antawn Jamison trade was not going to work out when it happened.

      • ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Actually, I preferred giving up JJ for Amare. I thought Jamison played no defense and was too old to get the job done. Though, that still wasn’t the camel that broke the back for the Cavs. If you want to say LeBron actually tried, the issue was playing Jamison and Shaq (two guys who couldn’t defend the pick and roll) in the front court together and totally benching Hickson who had done a solid job in the starter role while at the same time pretty much ignoring Z. But thanks for your assumption on my views 😉

      • savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        someone call a waaaahhhhhhammmbulance

    • nfl25/ownerplant - May 18, 2011 at 2:40 PM


  5. savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Honestly, what the hell is he going to say?

    Did you guys really expect him to say that if he knew it was going to be the top pick he would do the trade all over again?

  6. 00maltliquor - May 19, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    They didn’t see that one coming. To sad. Irving or Derrick Williams would’ve really put them over the top, pairing one of them with Griffin and Gordon and the rest of the core. Could’ve been the Thunder 2.0

  7. edcolton - May 19, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    Chicago one and done. Mayor Emanuel on sideline. Glad Chicago can’t payoff referees.

    Noah is a head case with the faces he makes. Dallas vs. Heat-great series. Heat in 7

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