Traded 2012 First-Round Picks

With college underclassmen beginning to declare their intentions and the end of the regular season four weeks away, the draft picture is beginning to get a little clearer. We won't know the full order of selection until the May 30 Draft Lottery, but we'll soon know whether some traded draft picks will be changing hands or not. Teams commonly build protection into their draft-pick trades so they minimize the risk of losing out on a top prospect, meaning that if a pick falls into one of the top slots, it stays with its original team. There are ways to protect a draft pick, and one seems to be causing some confusion.

Back when the Clippers owned both their own 2012 first-round pick and the Timberwolves’ pick, they traded the less favorable of those picks to the Thunder for Eric Bledsoe. The Thunder then sent that pick to Boston in the Kendrick Perkins trade last year. The Clippers sent the other pick to the Hornets in the Chris Paul trade. It’s been widely reported simply that the Hornets get the Wolves’ pick; that's what most of the stories about the CP3 trade have said. For most of the season, it seemed clear the Clippers would finish with a better record than the Wolves, making the matter of the switch irrelevant. But, the Clippers have been sliding, and the Wolves, even without Ricky Rubio, are just four games in back of them. So, in the event that the Wolves’ pick is inferior to the Clippers’ pick (which they sent to the Celtics), it seems like the picks would switch places – the Celtics would get the Wolves’ pick, and the Hornets would get the Clippers’ pick. But it's not entirely clear, as Draft ExpressNBADraft.net and RealGM all seem to be in disagreement. For our purposes, we'll include the possibility of a switch, but those picks are italicized to set them apart.

Below is a list of the first-round picks that could be coming and going to and from teams. In some cases, there are protections that extend to subsequent years (the Cavs, for instance, could still get a pick from the Heat down the road if, as expected, they don't choose to switch picks this year), but for simplicity's sake, only this year's protections are listed.

Blazers
Get pick from Nets (top-three protected) 

Bobcats
Give pick to Bulls (top-14 protected)

Bulls
Get pick from Bobcats (top-14 protected)

Cavs
Get option to switch picks with Heat
Get pick from Kings (top-14 protected)
Get pick from Lakers (top-14 protected) 

Celtics
Get less favorable of Clippers' pick (top-10 protected) and the Timberwolves' pick.  

Clippers
Give Celtics the less favorable of their own pick (top-10 protected) and the Timberwolves’ pick. 
Give Hornets the more favorable of their own pick (top-10 protected) and the Timberwolves' pick.

Heat
Give Cavs option to switch picks

Hornets
Get more favorable of Clippers' pick (top-10 protected) and the Timberwolves' pick.   

Jazz
Give pick to Timberwolves (top-14 protected)
Get pick from Warriors (top-seven protected) 

Kings
Give pick to Cavs (top-14 protected)

Knicks
Give pick to Rockets (top-five protected)

Lakers
Give pick to Cavs (top-14 protected)

Mavs
Give pick to Rockets (top-20 protected)

Nets
Give pick to Blazers (top-three protected)
Get pick from Rockets (top-14 protected) 

Rockets
Give pick to Nets (top-14 protected)
Get pick from Knicks (top-five protected)
Get pick from Mavs (top-20 protected) 

Spurs
Give pick to Warriors (top-14 protected)

Timberwolves
Give pick to Hornets or Celtics, depending on favorability vs. Clippers' pick
Get pick from Jazz (top-14 protected) 

Warriors
Give pick to Jazz (top-seven protected)
Get pick from Spurs (top-14 protected)

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2 thoughts on “Traded 2012 First-Round Picks

  1. Sfbobble

    i am still really confused on what a protected pick is? I am a Warriors fan, so how can the Warriors keep their pick? Or they can’t?

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  2. maxbelmont

    @sfbobble here’s the easiest way to explain: Bulls have the Bobcats pick, but if Bobcats pick anywhere between 1-14 then the Bulls will not get that pick.

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