With just a handful of games remaining in the 2012/13 regular season, most traded 2013 draft picks that included some sort of protection have been locked in, with teams' records ensuring those picks will either change hands or stay put. The Bulls, for instance, obviously aren't getting the Bobcats' top-12-protected pick, while the Jazz know definitively that they will receive Golden State's top-six-protected first-rounder.
There are still a handful of picks whose fate remains up in the air, however. For instance, the Suns and Cavaliers are watching the Lakers' place in the standings anxiously, since Phoenix will get L.A.'s pick if the Lakers miss the playoffs, while the Cavs will grab it if the Lakers earn a postseason berth. With the help of our projected draft order, here are the details on that pick and the rest of the selections that still may or may not change hands:
Team: Raptors (30-48)
Protection details: First-round pick sent to Thunder if not between 1-3 or 15-30.
Projected landing spot: 10th
Current outlook: The Raptors have a chance to jump into the top three in the draft lottery to keep their pick, but it's a real long shot. Assuming they finish with the league's 10th-worst record, the Raps' odds of landing a top-three pick will be about 4%.
Team: Trail Blazers (33-45)
Protection details: First-round pick sent to Bobcats if not in top 12.
Projected landing spot: 12th
Current outlook: With Dallas five games ahead of them in the standings, the Trail Blazers will finish with no better than the league's 12th-worst record. That bodes well for their chances of keeping their first-rounder, since the odds of the 13th and/or 14th teams leapfrogging the Blazers in the lottery (pushing them out of the top 12) are only about 4%.
Team: Lakers (42-37)
Protection details: First-round pick sent to Suns if in top 14. If not in top 14, Cavaliers can swap Heat first-round pick with Lakers first-rounder; Lakers then send Heat pick to Suns.
Projected landing spot: 15th
Current outlook: A game up on the Jazz, the Lakers are in the driver's seat in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot, but they'll host the Warriors, Spurs, and Rockets in their last three games, so it won't be a cakewalk. The Jazz hold the playoff tiebreaker and finish with games against the Timberwolves (twice) and Grizzlies. John Hollinger's playoffs odds give the Lakers 73.5% odds to earn the 8th seed, but this could still go either way.
Team: Trail Blazers (33-45)
Protection details: Second-round pick sent to Nuggets if not in top 40.
Projected landing spot: 42nd
Current outlook: Unlike the team's first-rounder, Portland isn't likely to keep this pick. Even if the Blazers' losing streak continues and they don't win another game this season, two of the Raptors, Sixers, and Timberwolves would have to finish the year with a handful of wins to push Portland's pick into the top 40. That means the Nuggets will probably receive it.
Team: Clippers (52-26)
Protection details: Second-round pick sent to Pistons if not in top 55.
Projected landing spot: 55th
Current outlook: The Clippers are a half-game up on the Knicks in the NBA standings and are within a game of the Grizzlies and two games of the Nuggets, so this pick remains unsettled. If the Pistons land it, it'd be one more very small asset in an offseason where the team is expected to have a lottery pick and a ton of cap space.
Team: Grizzlies (53-25)
Protection details: Second-round pick sent to Lakers if not in top 55.
Projected landing spot: 56th
Current outlook: A late-season loss or two for the Grizz could mean this pick ends up in the top 55 and remains in their control, but I don't think either team is losing much sleep over it.