The NBA Draft order outside of the lottery is set. Obviously, the selections are handed out in reverse order of record, but that never actually ends up being the actual selection order. Every year, due to past trades, there is plenty of minutiae and negotiating that impacts what teams select where.
The 2016 draft is no different, and in fact it may be even more affected than normal. Currently, 26 of the 46 determined selections have been affected by trade, and a further six could be determined by trade depending on how the lottery shakes out.
Here is the draft order, and a list of every trade that has affected -- or could possibly affect -- it, along with a quick analysis on whether or not it worked out for the teams involved. There are a few things you'll quickly find.
- First, trading unprotected first-round picks is rarely a good idea because you're never going to know what will happen in the future (ask the Nets and Knicks).
- Second, oftentimes midseason acquisitions for rentals aren't necessarily worth as high a pick as you expect (ask the Mavericks and Blazers).
- Another thing worth pointing out: this draft particularly has already been heavily affected by deals throughout the first round, which could possibly have to do with the fact that this draft has been considered for each of the last two years as one of the weakest in the last decade.
- Finally, pick swaps really can be quite valuable, and you realize that once you put numbers and names to the picks. It seems likely the Knicks and Kings would rather have those swap rights back, for instance.
Here are all the moves that have affected or could affect the draft's order.
LOTTERY (BASED ON ODDS)
Thanks to the Nik Staukas trade last offseason, this could end up being a pick swap with the Kings, but that would require the Kings to finish ahead of the Sixers in the lottery. The chances of the Kings jumping over the Sixers are pretty slim. Check out more on those odds below in the No. 8 spot.
Lakers wait on pins and needles: This will be the most important development of the lottery. Will the Lakers get to keep their pick, or will the Philadelphia 76ers get it? Back in 2012, in an effort to jump-start their rebuild, the Lakers sign and traded away their top-three 2015 first-round pick to the Suns for Steve Nash. Obviously, the Lakers finished in the top-three of the draft, so the pick did not transfer. Again, the pick is top-three protected this year before becoming unprotected in 2017. With the Lakers having the second-highest odds of the lottery, there is a 55.8 percent chance they will keep it, and a 44.2 percent chance it will be traded to the 76ers, who acquired it last season in the three-team trade that saw Brandon Knight head to the Suns, Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis head to the Bucks, and this pick head to the Sixers.
Obviously, this is one that the Lakers would like to have back given how the Dwight Howard-Steve Nash era ended. It's also one the Bucks would probably like to have back, too, as they essentially decided to move the pick to the Sixers for Carter-Williams last year. Given that there rumors they have already placed Carter-Williams on the trade block, that's not a great sign.
Nets mortgage future to Celtics: In what could turn out to be one of the most franchise-damaging trades of the last decade, Boston traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans, along with the Nets' 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round picks, plus the right to swap their 2017 first-round pick back in July of 2013.
Look, this one was a bad trade at the time, and it's gotten even worse. Any time that you give up three unprotected first rounders to get a 37-year-old and a 35-year-old, you're begging for it to destroy you into the future. Thus far, that's been the case. Pierce and Garnett never led the Nets past the second round of the playoffs and have each moved on. The Nets finished with the third-worst record in the league this year, and have very little in the way of tangible long-term assets moving forward. This trade could be the one that pushes the Celtics into the upper tier of the Eastern Conference sooner rather than later.
4. Phoenix Suns
Carmelo Anthony trade continues to send out Knicks' assets: In 2011, the Nuggets acqured Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round pick, a pair of second-round picks, and the right to swap 2016 first rounders in a three-team deal with New York and the Timberwolves for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams.
The key here is the right to swap first-rounders this year. The Nuggets, who have the ninth-best odds at a top-three pick, now will own those odds as well as the Knicks' odds. That gives them a 21.8 percent chance at a top-three pick in the draft. However, the problem for the Knicks is that once this pick is swapped, they still don't get the lower selection. We'll get to why momentarily.
Kings will be really unlucky if they lose their lottery pick or if they win the lottery: The Kings could theoretically lose their lottery pick, currently slotted in at No. 8, but they would need to fall all the way to No. 11 for that to happen. By my math, the odds of them losing their pick is something like a .00049 percent chance. So they're probably good. The reason they could lose their pick has to do with their 2011 trade of Omri Casspi and a protected 2012 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for J.J. Hickson.
As the Kings have struggled, that pick's rights have continued to extend out. It went from being a lottery protected pick in 2012, to top-13 protected in 2013, to top-12 protected in 2014, to now just top-10 protected through next season. Since then, Casspi has come back to play for the Kings, and the team has failed to top 33 wins.
Also, the pick has switched hands again, as the Bulls now own its rights after the Cavaliers moved it to Chicago in the ill-fated Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum trade in 2014. Cleveland gave Chicago this pick and two future second-round picks as part of the deal. Also worth noting: assuming this pick doesn't transfer this year, the Bulls will only have until next year for it to be a first rounder when it transfers. If the Kings struggle again and finish in the top-10 of the draft, the pick reverts to being a second rounder in 2017.
The second part of this worth noting is that the Kings could also be forced to swap their pick with the 76ers if they finish ahead of Philly in the lottery due to the Nik Stauskas trade this summer to clear cap space. Basically, the Sixers own their lottery balls, which currently have a 1.9 percent chance of moving into the top spot, a 2.2 percent chance of moving to the No. 2 pick, and a 2.7 percent chance of moving to No. 3. If the Kings are lucky enough to get any of those picks, they'll move up in the order but could be left out in the cold when it comes to having a top pick.
The Raptors turn Andrea Bargnani into a likely top-10 pick: This pick is originally the Nuggets' first rounder based on record. But we've discussed their situation in pick No. 7, due to their swap rights with the Knicks. So let's talk about the second, much more ugly trade the Knicks made involving their 2016 first-round pick.
The Raptors traded Bargnani for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, second-round picks in 2014 and 2017, and the Knicks' 2016 first rounder. Because the Knicks already had dealt the swap rights to that pick in the Anthony deal, the Raptors will get the worse pick of the lottery selections currently slotted at No. 9 and No. 7.
This is another one of those trades that seemed at the time to have very little chance of ending well for the Knicks. Not only had Bargnani been a largely ineffectual player for two seasons with the Raptors, but he'd been coming off an injury as well with $22.5 million over two years left on his contract. That sounds like more of a liability on your cap sheet than an asset to me. To give up picks for him at that point in his career was a dumbfounding move, and now the biggest asset in the deal could pay off for the Raptors in a big way.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Orlando Magic
12. Utah Jazz
Wizards likely owe a lottery pick to the Suns for Markieff Morris: At the trade deadline, a struggling Wizards team decided to push its chips into the center of the table. They traded a top-nine protected lottery pick with Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair to the Suns for Markieff Morris. Given that top-nine protection, the Wizards still have a 2.2 percent chance of keeping their pick.
Honestly, if Morris can get his act together, this deal might end up being okay. Morris has three years and $24 million left on his contract, and that deal could be a major bargain for a starting power forward if he can get it going again. During his 27 games with the Wizards, Morris averaged a solid 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while improving his true-shooting percentage to at least a solid 53.8. Plus, if he ends up having the same kind of locker room antics he apparently had in Phoenix, the deal isn't going to significantly hinder their cap space.
Still though, getting a lottery pick for a guy in Morris that had been terrible over the start of the 2015-16 season and a major problem in their locker room has to feel like a coup for the Suns. A solid deal here that realistically could work out for both sides if Morris gets back on the track he seemed to be in 2014.
14. Chicago Bulls
FIRST ROUND ORDER
Houston deals first rounder to Denver for Ty Lawson: In July, the Nuggets moved Ty Lawson and a 2017 second rounder to the Rockets in exchange for Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, cash, and this pick.
This one didn't go so well for the Rockets, who after making the conference finals last season were likely expecting Lawson to be one of the final pieces of their puzzle. Instead, the diminutive point guard averaged 5.8 points and shot 38.7 percent from the field in 53 games before being bought out in March. That's pretty nightmarish.
Boston gets another first rounder from its aging championship core: This one comes courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics traded Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell to the Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a protected first-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick.
This is another trade that ended up as a nightmare for the team from Texas. Rondo was a disaster in Dallas, eventually getting benched in the playoffs and cut out of the team's playoff cash. Dwight Powell might eventually turn into a rotation big man, but that remains to be seen. That said, this deal has worked out perfectly for the Celtics. Crowder has turned into a legitimate All-Defense contender as a starting wing. Brandan Wright turned into a pair of second-round picks. Oh, and they also get this No. 16 overall pick, and another second rounder in this draft. The Celtics have made plenty of great moves since breaking up its championship core, and this is just another example.
18. Detroit Pistons
Denver gets a first rounder and Will Barton: Portland was in the midst of making a run last season in its last year with star LaMarcus Aldridge, and felt it needed to make a splash. The Blazers acquired Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee from the Nuggets for Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, and this pick. This is yet another deal that didn't exactly work out for the midseason buyer.
Afflalo was supposed to be the sixth man, but following Wes Matthews' Achilles injury he was forced into the starting five. He also ended up picking up a late shoulder injury that tanked his playoff performance and forced him to miss two games. His scoring dipped, as did his overall efficiency as he generally just didn't quite seem to acclimate before leaving in free agency in the offseason. Overall, it was a largely disappointing tenure.
The Nuggets, however, will be pleased with this haul. Before even getting to this pick, it's worth noting that Barton has turned into a terrific player off the bench for the Nuggets. He averaged 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, and has become a fan favorite in Denver. Also, the Nuggets now add to their draft capital in this draft with a solid top-20 pick. A really nice deal here by general manager Tim Connolly.
20. Indiana Pacers
21. Atlanta Hawks
23. Boston Celtics
Remember when LeBron left Cleveland for Miami? Of course you do: This pick is the earliest first-round pick traded in the 2016 NBA Draft. This pick was originally moved in the July 2010 sign-and-trade that saw LeBron James become a member of the Miami Heat. Since then, James has won multiple MVP awards, won two titles with the Heat, then came back to Cleveland to join the Cavaliers and take them back to the NBA Finals.
So yeah, this one's from a long way out. How did it end up in Philly's hands though? The 76ers were the beneficiary of being the third team involved in the Minnesota-Cleveland Kevin Love trade. Minnesota wanted Thaddeus Young to go with its young core, so they traded Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and this pick that it had just acquired from Cleveland to Philadelphia for Young. Young was eventually traded to the Nets to get Kevin Garnett back. Given the effect that Garnett will likely have on its young roster, including Karl-Anthony Towns, I would guess that the Wolves are fine with this outcome.
Convoluted series of trades ends with Philadelphia having the OKC's pick: The Thunder traded this pick initially to the Cavaliers, who traded it to Denver, who traded it to Philadelphia all over the last 16 months. So how did we get here?
It all starts with the three-team Dion Waiters/J.R. Smith/Iman Shumpert trade that saw the Knicks send Shumpert and Smith to Cleveland for salary flotsam that has now turned into the rotation-worthy Lance Thomas. Then, the Cavaliers sent Waiters to the Thunder for a first-round pick. A couple of months later, that pick was then traded by the Cavs along with a future Memphis first rounder to Denver for Timofey Mozgov. Denver then moved it along with JaVale McGee to Philadelphia in an cap-dumping measure, which is where it lies now.
It's pretty much impossible to grade a series of trades like that, but I'd imagine the Cavs are happy, the Knicks are happy, the Nuggets are happy, the Sixers are happy and the Thunder are fine with this series of events. It largely has worked out fine for all sides.
27. Toronto Raptors
Phoenix owns Cleveland's first rounder after win-win-win deals: The Cavaliers initially traded this pick to the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal that saw Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev end up with the Nets. Tyler Zeller and this first-round pick ended up with the Celtics. The goal here was to clear cap space for LeBron James, which happened and the rest is history.
The Celtics then moved this pick to the Suns, who received it in exchange for Isaiah Thomas. Thomas has turned into an all-star point guard for the Celtics, but that wasn't going to happen in Phoenix where he had turned disgruntled with the team's three-point-guard attack. In the end, that entire situation ended up being a part of what tanked a good team's chemistry from back in 2014, so maybe they regret signing Thomas. Still though, given that the Suns signed him in the offseason as a free agent and at that point he was something of a sunk cost for them, they essentially paid $4 million for a first rounder. That's not bad in today's day and age.
Overall, my guess is that every team is okay with these moves, even if the Suns wish it hadn't gotten to the point where they needed to dump Thomas.
Celtics get valuable 76ers second rounder: The 76ers initially traded this pick, the 2015 pick that became Jordan Mickey, and the rights to Justin Hamilton in exchange for the draft rights to Arnett Moultrie in 2012. The Heat then in 2014 moved this pick, the Mickey pick, their own 2016 second-round pick and Joel Anthony to Boston in a three-team trade involving the Warriors where the Celtics gave up MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford. Given that neither Brooks nor Crawford are in the NBA anymore, I think the Celts are good with how this transaction is working out for them.
Clippers get the Brooklyn's pick in pick swap due to Reggie Evans deal: Back in 2012, the Clippers and Nets agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that would see Evans go to the Nets and the Clippers earn the right to swap 2016 second-round picks. This is one of those things that was seen as largely meaningless at the time, but will now see Los Angeles earn a 22-spot bump in draft capital for facilitating a move for a player they had no use for.
34. Phoenix Suns
This pick went from The T'Wolves to New Orleans, then back to Minnesota, then to Phoenix before it ended up with the Celtics. It started back in 2012 when the Wolves were clearing roster space to send an offer sheet to Nicolas Batum, who at that time was a restricted free agent for the Blazers. The Wolves sent Brad Miller, a second rounder that became Lorenzo Brown, and this second rounder to the Pelicans for an unlikely-to-transfer second.
Two weeks later, it was then traded to Phoenix in a three-way deal involving Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick, and Wesley Johnson with the Wolves, Pelicans and Suns. Then, the Suns moved the pick to Boston in the Brandan Wright trade. Initially, the deal involved a 2015-16 top-12 protected first rounder, but since it has not converted under those conditions, the Celtics will receive second rounders in 2016 and 2017.
The Kings traded the option to swap 2016 second-round picks with the Pelicans in the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade. Then, in 2013, the Bucks traded the aforementioned Mbah a Moute for the more favorable second-round pick between the Pelicans and Kings, as well as another swap right.
Surprise, New York traded its pick: In 2012, the Knicks traded this pick in a deal for Raymond Felton, who eventually became a piece of the Carmelo Anthony trade and a valuable Knick. So this one made sense. Then, the pick went on a long journey from there to Sacramento to the Rockets, who acquired it along with Jason Terry for Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson.
38. Milwaukee Bucks
The Nuggets moved this pick to the 76ers in a three-team deal involving Eric Maynor in 2014. Then, the Sixers moved it to re-acquire Ish Smith this winter after allowing Smith to move on as a free agent in the summer. Not the best asset management from Philly there, but it's still just a second rounder.
This is the other half of the pick swap involving what was discussed in the No. 36 pick space. The Pelicans get this pick from the swap in the Tyreke Evans deal.
41. Orlando Magic
42. Utah Jazz
43. Houston Rockets
Atlanta gets Washington's pick last year from Kelly Oubre trade: Here is one of the fruits of the Hawks' trades down in the draft last season. The Hawks get this pick as compensation from the three-team deal involving the Wizards and the Knicks that saw Oubre become a Wizard, Jerian Grant become a Knick, Tim Hardaway Jr. become a Hawk, and two second rounders come Atlanta's way.
Celtics get another asset from the Rajon Rondo trade: The Grizzlies originally owned this pick before dealing it to the Nuggets, who then moved it to the Mavericks in a deal involving Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez. The Celtics then acquired it in the Rondo trade by asking for the more favorable of the Mavs' and Grizzlies second rounders. Smart move by Ainge there to gain a spot in the order.
46. Dallas Mavericks
This is a result of the Anthony Randolph salary cap dump two summers ago, where the Magic acquired Randolph and this second rounder, which was agreed to be the better of the Bulls and Blazers' second-round picks.
This pick was originally held by the Cavaliers, who acquired the rights to Allen Crabbe for two second rounders in the 2013 draft. The pick was then traded to the Bulls in the aforementioned Luol Deng trade by the Cavaliers.
49. Detroit Pistons
50. Indiana Pacers
51. (via Miami Heat)
The Celtics also got this pick in the aforementioned Crawford/Brooks/Anthony trade.
Somehow, despite owning half of the draft picks, the Celtics don't have their own second rounder. The Celtics dealt this pick originally to the Grizzlies in a three-team trade involving Jerryd Bayless and Courtney Lee. The Grizzlies then moved it on draft day to the Jazz for the rights to 2016 D-League MVP Jarnell Stokes.
The Hornets traded this pick originally to the Thunder in the Jeremy Lamb trade last summer. The Thunder then moved it to the Nuggets along with Steve Novak and D.J. Augustin and another second rounder to get Randy Foye.
54. Atlanta Hawks
This is the other half of the aforementioned pick swap at No. 33.
This is the aforementioned other second rounder mentioned in pick No. 53 involved in the Randy Foye deal.
The award for oldest pick transfer goes to Memphis for getting Toronto's pick. The Raptors traded this pick to the Grizzlies in a four-team trade all the way back in 2009. It was the deal that got Hedo Turkoglu to the Raptors in a sign-and-trade. The applicable part here is that Memphis essentially traded Greg Buckner to the Mavericks and got Jerry Stackhouse to go with this pick.
This was the trade that got the Cavaliers Keith Bogans' contract, which was supposed to be valuable as a trade chip for the team last season but ultimately just became a trade exception when he was dealt to the 76ers. The most notable player dealt here was likely Dwight Powell.
This pick was traded for Ray McCallum, who was eventually cut by the Spurs. Fairly uneventful deal.
This pick was dealt to the Jazz in the salary dump that sent Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to the Jazz in order to create space to sign Andre Iguodala. The Jazz got five future picks, and the Warriors picked up their 2015 NBA Finals MVP from free agency. Not a bad trade-off, I'd say.