NBA Draft Trends: How 2013's draft order compares historically

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

For the past week, we've been looking ahead -- and back -- at the NBA Draft, examining 15 years worth of picks from both the pro and college angles to determine what patterns have emerged in the process. For our previous posts in this series, click here.

The lottery has been set, and the NBA's draft order is now in order, so why not look at this side of the NBA trend line: how teams compare this year to where they've been during the past 15.

What we have here is a comparative chart of every NBA team's first draft choice, on average from the past 15 years. They could've earned that pick via the traditional way, by record, or through trades. And for the sake of curiosity, look at how it differs from the draft's sequence this season.

Here's the past 15 years' worth of first picks in the draft and where each team made their initial choice.

Bulls: 7.7
Bobcats: 8
Warriors: 12.4
Clippers: 13.7
Pelicans: 13.9
Trail Blazers: 14.6
Grizzlies: 14.8
Raptors: 15.7
Cavaliers: 16.2
Hawks: 16.7
Thunder: 16.9
Wizards: 17.9
Nuggets: 18.6
Kings: 18.7
76ers: 19.7
Bucks: 19.9
Suns: 20.6
Nets: 20.7
Magic: 20.9
Rockets: 21.1
Jazz: 21.2
Pistons: 22.1
Pacers: 23.1
Timberwolves: 23.9
Knicks: 25.1
Celtics: 26
Mavericks: 26.4
Heat: 28.1
Lakers: 32.6
Spurs: 36.6

Couple of interesting tidbits on team draft picks as a whole.

-- The Spurs are the only franchise without a lottery pick in this span.

-- Denver has participated in the fewest drafts in the past 15 years (11) and went two straight years without making a pick (2006 and '07). No other team did so.

-- No team has a wider disparity in traditional draft slot and where it's picking this year than Memphis (21 spots).

-- Golden State, Miami and Toronto are crossed out because they have no draft picks, as of now, for this year.

Now, the right column in that graphic will get altered before the draft begins. Trades are inevitable. But as it stands, this is the order per prior trades and where teams have fallen according to record and lottery drawings.

Any surprises to you? I didn't expect Chicago to be No. 1 and was surprised to see Indiana and Minnesota so far near the bottom. I also find it interesting that San Antonio's patience in picking has led to such success and many, many foreign picks.

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