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Update On Traded 2015 First-Round Picks

NBA teams are just about at the midway point of their 82-game schedules, so the sample size is plenty large enough to reasonably project where those clubs will end up in the standings. The playoff picture is starting to come into focus, and the same is true of the draft order.

Half of the 30 picks in this year’s first round have been promised via trade, though in most cases, those picks carry protections that put conditions on whether they’ll be conveyed this year. It’s already safe to assume that the Sixers won’t give up their pick to the Celtics, since Philadelphia, which owns the league’s third-worst record, would have to make the playoffs for that to happen. Conversely, the Rockets would have to miss the playoffs to avoid ceding their first-rounder to the Lakers. Still, there are other protected picks that could easily go one way or another.

Here’s an update on the likelihood of each protected pick changing hands:


Team: Lakers (12-31)
Pick traded to: Suns
Protection: Top 5
Current position: 4th

Team: Kings (16-26)
Pick traded to: Bulls
Protection: Top 10
Current position: 9th

Team: Thunder (22-20)
Pick traded to: Nuggets
Protection: Top 18
Current position: 14th

Team: Heat (18-24)
Pick traded to: Sixers
Protection: Top 10
Current position: tied for 15th

Traded picks likely to change hands:

Team: Pelicans (21-21)
Pick traded to: Rockets
Protection: Top 3 and 20-30
Current position: 13th

Team: Rockets (29-14)
Pick traded to: Lakers
Protection: Top 14
Current position: tied for 24th

Traded picks likely to stay put:

Team: Timberwolves (7-34)
Pick traded to: Suns
Protection: Top 12
Current position: 2nd

Team: 76ers (8-34)
Pick traded to: Celtics
Protection: Top 14
Current position: 3rd

Team: Mavericks (30-13)
Pick traded to: Celtics
Protection: Top 3 and 15-30
Current position: 26th

Team: Grizzlies (30-12)
Pick traded to: Nuggets
Protection: Top 5 and 15-30
Current position: 27th

Additional notes:

  • The Clippers will send their first-round pick to the Celtics regardless of finish, since there’s no protection on the pick. It’s the No. 23 selection as it stands now.
  • The Hawks have the right to swap picks with the Nets, and they likely will, since Brooklyn’s pick is tied for No. 15 and Atlanta’s is at No. 29.
  • The Bulls will have the right to swap picks with the Cavaliers, unless Cleveland somehow fails to make the playoffs. Chicago’s record is better by four games, but that margin is still too close to suggest it’s likely that the Bulls will take the Cavs’ pick.
  • The Heat’s pick stands five spots away from the top 10, the protected range that would allow Miami to keep the selection, but they’re only a game and a half better than the Pistons, who currently occupy the 10th spot in the lottery order. So, that’s why Miami’s pick is in the Tossups category.

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