May 18, 2010
Clippers President Andy Roeser represented the team at the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery on May 18. Photo by: Nathaniel S. Butler (NBAE/Getty Images)
Listen to the full-length audio of the conference call:
Your reaction to staying put at #8 and how the draft is shaping up at that position?
(00:51:) Andy Roeser: From my perspective, it’s not where you pick, it’s what you do with the pick that counts.
(1:02) Neil Olshey: We’ve been preparing the whole time to be at number 8, that’s where our preparations have been. We’re comfortable there. We won a coin flip, moved up from 9 to 8. It’s a good solid range in this draft. We’ve got nine open roster spots, and whomever we add is going to be a quality guy that will start the building process for the 2010-11 roster.
How does this group compare to last year’s group at this stage of the game?
(1:32) N.O.: I don’t know if it’s as top-heavy as last year. There were people last year that were high in the upper half of the lottery. I think there’s more depth there and a little bit more versatility. If you’re looking at projections, I think there’s a lot of bigs in the middle of the lottery, but there are lot of quality guys and more than anything there a lot of guys that can step in and contribute right away.
Would you be happy to never to have to make another trip for this [the draft]?
(3:18) N.O.: I think we’re in a position where we’re not going to have to make another trip for a long time. That’s what you want to have; a team in a position where you’re not going to the lottery ever. We hope that we get one more trip with some other team’s pick and that we don’t go again. And that’s part of what we have to accomplish this summer- put the team in a position where we’re playing basketball this time next year and not even having conversations about lottery picks.
For a team with that many open roster spots and no head coach, you have been remarkably quiet this offseason.
(5:50) A.R.: Things are going on. At some point we’ll be in a position to talk about them. We’re hard at work for next season. We’re hard at work for the draft, free agency is right around the corner. We’re doing a lot of the initial work on the coaching search.
Do you feel like you need to have a coach before the draft?
(6:30) A.R.: Not so much for the purpose of assisting us in the draft…I’m very comfortable that we’re in a very good position that way. I think it would be good as we plan for free agency, which is essentially five minutes after the draft. I think that’s something that we will have accomplished by then.
N.O.: We’re going to control the process. We’re going to work on our time frame. We are working diligently behind the scenes...We’re not going to accelerate the process based on artificial influences. We’re going to control it. Andy and I have been working behind the scenes, we’re getting comfortable with the candidates. When it happens, it’s going to happen quickly. We have some other issues to deal with. We have nine open roster spots and the draft coming up and we’re preparing for free agency. When the time is right and the right candidate is there, you’ll see us move but it’s going to be based on when we want to make a move and for whom. It’s not going to be driven by outside influences.
A.R.: : It is worth nothing that as we were doing our projections for where we’d be in the draft and where we’d be in terms of cap space, we thought we’d actually have to move our first round pick in order to have enough cap room to have a maximum spot. That’s when we were picking tenth. Now with the cap projected to go higher, we’re going to have enough to sign the 8th player and still have a max slot for free agency. This is the first step forward for us in putting together net year’s team. We’re going to be well positioned here and I think ours will be an attractive spot for a coach. The challenge for us is to find the right coach for our group and it’s an important hire for us and we want to make sure we do it right.
Are the Clippers going to take the best player available?
(12:03) A.R: I would expect that we go with the best player available regardless. We have five players under contract so I guess we have needs at many positions.
N.O.: One other thing, you get yourself in trouble when you reach for need at times. A lot of the draft is about adding talent to your roster not necessarily positional needs; that’s what free agency is for. We have put ourselves in an enviable cap position where we have flexibility in the free agent market. We might be driven more by need especially with the hole at SF but the fact we have $17M in cap room, I think we can be a little bit more open to just adding talent and ability and a guy we can build with for the future no matter what the position is.
Blake Griffin Update:
(13:41) N.O.: Right now Blake is working out with no restrictions, full speed, 100% to the point where Rich Williams is asking him to dial it back a little bit. He is working out in May as if he were ready to tip off in October. He is in a great spot. He has no restrictions. If we were playing games right now he would be out on the court playing. The only guy I feel bad for is the first one of his teammates that walks in the gym and wants to play one-on-one.
Blake in Summer League:
(14:15) N.O.: He is already committed to absolutely being around. We will have a coaching staff in place, practicing with the team, working out, coming to Vegas. Whether not he wants to defend his title for two years in a row as the Summer League MVP, we will take that as it comes. I don’t know if we are going to expose him to running around with a bunch of rookies and undrafted free agents or not. I don’t know if playing five games in Vegas in July really makes a difference for what we need in October. If he doesn’t play it will have nothing to do with health issues because he will be practicing full speed with the team the week before and with the team in Vegas for player review and to get accustomed to the new system.
What are Blake's restrictions?
(15:00) N.O.: It has been gradual. He has been back and forth with [Dr.] Neal ElAttrache. It went from running on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] to running on the treadmill to full explosion. He has been on full explosion with no restriction on movement for probably about a week. He is going to end up costing us a bunch of money because we are going to have to get a shooting gun because he has worn Fred Vinson out to the point where he can’t shag balls anymore. He can shoot as many jumpers as he wants , he can elevate as much as he wants. At this point we have to make sure he is on a regiment where he is going to be peaking in October.
One Sunday he took off to go to Phoenix. Literally that was his one day off. It goes to the type of kid he is. From a character perspective, there is actually guilt there. He saw what the other rookies were doing and he is trying to prove to us something that we are already well aware of which is we couldn’t find a harder worker or better kid. Right now it is great to see him out there doing all the things we know he is capable of 100% pain-free no restrictions.
The great thing we got with him was he loves to be in the gym. I am not afraid of burnout with him because he actually enjoys the process, which is important. It is not considered work for him, he actually loves being in the gym. He is in there every morning from 7:30 to noon and then he comes back at night and does extra shooting. The interesting thing is that we are going to end up with a better rookie than we had 9 months ago because of all the time he has spent working on his shooting mechanics. So we will probably still have the best new player in the NBA this coming year.