There’s talk that Marquis Teague, the 29th pick in the 2012 draft, could be on the move in the coming days, and if the Bulls trade him, he’d join eight other first-rounders from that draft who have been traded since August 2012. That nearly a third of the 2012 first-round has changed hands in the span of 14 months is remarkable, considering teams were so reluctant to part with 2013 first-rounders at this year’s trade deadline. No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson has twice been traded, meaning there have already been nine swaps involving 2012 first-round picks. In one respect, it shows how quickly the value of a first-rounder can decline once the pick is used to draft a player.
Here’s a look at each of the 2012 first-round picks who’ve been traded, along with brief analysis on how much they cost to acquire. Note: This list doesn’t include players involved in 2012 draft-night transactions.
No. 5, Thomas Robinson — Traded February 20th from Kings to Rockets with Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas, and $1MM in cash; traded July 10th from Rockets to Trail Blazers for the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic, a 2015 second-round pick, and a 2017 second-round pick.
- The cost wasn’t high in either case, though arguably the price the Rockets paid to acquire Robinson at the deadline wasn’t as high as what the Blazers gave Houston in this summer’s trade. Houston also received Garcia in the Robinson deal, which no doubt gave the team an edge when it re-signed Garcia this summer.
No. 12, Jeremy Lamb — Traded October 29th, 2012 from Rockets to Thunder with Kevin Martin, the Mavericks’ 2013 first-round pick, the Raptors’ 2013 first-round pick and the Bobcats’ 2013 second-round pick for James Harden, Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Lazar Hayward.
- Lamb was a throw-in as part of the Harden trade, and it’s difficult to pinpoint his cost amid all the moving parts in this deal. Still, unless Lamb shows significant improvement, he appears to have been a small price to pay to facilitate the acquisition of Harden.
No. 15, Maurice Harkless — Traded August 10th, 2012 from Sixers to Magic as part of a four-team deal. The Sixers gave up Nikola Vucevic, Andre Iguodala and a protected 2015 first-round pick and acquired Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. The Magic gave up Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark and acquired Harkless, Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, three first-round picks and two second-rounders.
- This was another deal that involved superstars and a host of other components, but it’s hard to say that Harkless’ cost was anything but dire, since the Magic had to surrender the face of their franchise in the trade. The swap has nonetheless worked out much better for Orlando than for Philly, and the development of Harkless has been a major factor in that.
No. 16, Royce White — Traded July 13th from Rockets to Sixers with Furkan Aldemir and cash for a protected 2014 second-round pick.
- The Rockets acquired a player they believed was a top-five talent midway through the draft last year, his psychological problems notwithstanding. White never saw the floor for Houston during the regular season as GM Daryl Morey‘s gamble didn’t pan out. New Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who was Morey’s assistant when they drafted White, was willing to take another shot on White, but this time, the stakes are much lower.
- Both players involved in this deal have been waived by the teams that acquired them, so it’s safe to say Melo came cheaply. Memphis walked away with $1.66MM just for their trouble. Melo is on a non-guaranteed camp deal with the Mavs.
- The Hawks turned the 2013 No. 18 pick into players who were 16th, 24th and 44th overall picks in the last two drafts, so Cunningham was part of a bargain for Atlanta. Nogueira and Muscala are spending this season overseas, so there may be some degree of pressure on Cunningham to perform this year, particularly if Larkin impresses.
- A former first-round pick traded straight up for a second clearly shows Wroten’s cost reduction. That’s further underlined when you consider that the Grizzlies are unlikely ever to see that second-round pick. The Sixers only send it to Memphis if it falls between 51st and 55th overall.
- The Pacers weren’t excited about giving up Plumlee, but with an established scoring big man like Scola available, they pounced. Even though Scola wasn’t relevant to Phoenix’s rebuilding plan, Plumlee’s cost was significantly higher than Wroten’s or Cunningham’s, the two players picked immediately before him.