NJ source on why they traded their pick to POR Top 3 protected:Only 3 players they loved: Anthony Davis, MKG and Thomas Robinson.
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) March 16, 2012
And, via NetsDaily:
"This trade was really done to get us a small forward," King said, "a former All-Star, somebody to give us some great defense, versatility, someone to play hard ..." As for protecting the pick only #1 through #3, King said following conversations with their scouts, the team did not see any immediate-impact players beyond their projected top three in next year’s draft.
Two things here. Firstly, Billy King apparently believes that there are only three impact players in this draft. Discounting the widespread belief that there are at least a dozen potentially great players in this draft that's lauded as one of the deepest in years, King's suggesting that his scouting's done for the year and they already have their list set. As we all know, nothing changes for prospects during March Madness, pre-draft interviews, or the Draft Combine. Secondly, Billy King seemingly believes that everyone's top three looks identical to his, and that it's unfathomable that he could get MKG (who's flown up draft boards) or Thomas Robinson (who could easily fall to mid-lottery) outside of the top 3.
More thoughts on the latest transactions later today.