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Recent First-Rounders Traded At The Deadline

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweets today that the Cavs are working on a deal that would allow them to acquire a lottery pick. It's the latest example of a team seeking long-term gain at the trade deadline, when GMs must decide whether they're seeking assets for an immediate playoff run or trying to build for future success. No move is quite as focused on the future as acquiring a draft pick. Players who have never played in the league are unknown quantities, no matter how precise scouting has become, and so these deals are high-risk, high-reward for executives on both sides of the transactions. No first-round picks changed hands at the quiet 2007 deadline, but in the four years since, several key contributors to NBA teams today have been dealt, as first-round draft picks, within a week of the deadline.

The Cavs were involved in perhaps the most prominent recent example when they acquired a pick at last year's deadline. That draft choice wound up No. 1 overall, and the Cavs used it on Kyrie Irving. The Cavs figure in a longstanding rule concerning first-round draft pick trades as well. The so-called Ted Stepien rule, named after the former owner of the Cavs, was instituted in the 1980s and holds that no team may trade its first-round picks in consecutive years. Stepien was fond of doing so, and left his team without a mechanism to rebuild when those deals didn't pan out.

The list below shows the team that gave up the pick at the deadline as well as the team that acquired it, and the player upon whom the pick was eventually used. In many cases, the team that acquired the pick eventually traded it again in another transaction, so some the players listed didn't play with either of the teams by their names. Still, this gives you an idea of just what teams are giving up, and just what other teams are getting, when a first-round pick is included in a trade.

2011 deadline

2010 deadline

2009 deadline

2008 deadline






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3 thoughts on “Recent First-Rounders Traded At The Deadline

  1. Guest

    It’d be nice if it said who they were traded for… but I guess bball ref has that covered anyway

  2. This Guy

    The Bulls drafted Taj Gibson.

    • Aaron McGraw

      with a pick that was acquired at the deadline

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