Checking In On NBA’s 2017 Draft Lottery Trades

As our 2016/17 NBA Reverse Standings show, the Celtics – by way of the Nets – have all but clinched the No. 1 spot in the 2017 draft lottery. With a record of 12-53, Brooklyn has a 7.5-game “lead” over the second-place Lakers, who are 20-46. Barring a hot streak that sees the Nets practically double their win total, their last-place finish will ensure that the Celtics have a 25% chance of landing the first overall pick this spring.

However, once we move past the Nets, there are many interesting lottery situations that are far from decided, which could have significant ramifications for the future of several franchises. Here’s a closer look at a few of them:

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are currently in second place in our reverse standings, with a 1.5-game lead on the Suns. If Los Angeles can hold that position the rest of the way, it would give the team a great chance to keep its 2017 first-round pick, which is top-three protected. If they lose the pick, it’ll be sent to the Sixers.

If the Lakers finish as the NBA’s second-worst team, they’d have a 55.8% chance of landing in the top three and keeping their pick. If they were to slip just one spot in the lottery standings and finish with the league’s third-worst record, those odds would shift below 50/50, to just 46.9%.

This year’s lottery outcome is particularly crucial for the Lakers, since losing this year’s pick would also mean they’d have to send their 2019 first-rounder (unprotected) to Orlando. If the Lakers keep this year’s first-rounder, their commitment to the Magic would become a pair of second-round picks in 2017 and 2018.

Philadelphia 76ers / Sacramento Kings

The Kings‘ 2017 first-round pick is top-10 protected — if it lands outside the top 10, Sacramento will have to send the pick to Chicago. However, a lengthy losing streak has put the Kings in a great position to keep that selection — they’re now 25-41, No. 6 in our reverse standings and four full games ahead of the 29-37 Hornets (No. 11).

With the Kings’ pick looking pretty safe, it’s now worth watching to see where it lands in relation to the Sixers‘ pick. Philadelphia has the opportunity to swap picks with the Kings, so Sacramento won’t necessarily be rooting for lottery luck unless both the Kings and Sixers can jump into the top three. Currently, the 24-42 Sixers are just one game ahead of Sacramento in our reverse standings.

If the Kings and Sixers finish as the league’s fifth- and sixth-worst teams, Philadelphia would have a 15.1% chance of landing the first-round pick, rather than just 8.8%.

New Orleans Pelicans

When the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins last month, most observers called the trade a coup for New Orleans. However, that early assessment of the deal hinged on the assumption that the Pelicans would improve with Cousins in the lineup, reducing the value of the first-round pick they sent to Sacramento in the swap. That hasn’t happened so far, as the 26-40 Pelicans place eighth in our reverse standings.

If the Pelicans were to finish as the NBA’s eighth-worst team, they’d have a 10% chance to jump into the top three and hang onto their pick. Otherwise, the Kings would be in position to acquire the pick and hold two top-10 selections.

The rest

No other lottery picks for 2017 appear to be in flux — the Mavericks traded their first-rounder to the Sixers, but it’s top-18 protected, and Dallas has essentially no chance of landing outside of the top 18.

Further down in our reverse standings, outside of the lottery, every traded first-round pick should change hands. Of those late-round selections, the most valuable traded pick looks to be the Grizzlies‘ selection, which they’ll send to the Trail Blazers. It currently projects to be No. 19 overall.

RealGM’s list of traded draft picks was used in the creation of this post.

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13 thoughts on “Checking In On NBA’s 2017 Draft Lottery Trades

  1. df08988

    Have the Celtics and Lakers ever had picks 1 and 2 in any draft?

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    • jkbuckets

      Magic Johnson Len bias. Prob more

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      • df08988

        Magic was drafted in 1979. Bias was 1986. No quite the same year.

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    • Luke Adams

      As far as I can tell, those two teams have never had the top two picks in the same draft, no.

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    • slapnuts

      You couldn’t have been more wrong if you tried

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  2. mikedickinson

    Celtics need to trade Isaiah Thomas for another lottery pick, as he isn’t a max player. Regular season yes, but he’s so small that he gets beat up in the playoffs when the game becomes more physical.

    C’s take Ball and the best big guy available. They have so much trouble rebounding that they need physical bigs….even with the two coming from overseas.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      No way. If Ball is good from the get go let him walk but if not resign Thomas. Maybe Thomas goes for the Lebron 1 yr plus a player option deal for a couple years and they let him walk eventually.

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    • WilliamDuval

      Lol what are you talking about? Isaiah is a max player. They need to put more competent pieces around him; I say trade horford and the top3 pick for some stud player

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      • Connorsoxfan

        Horford, the pick, and whatever else NO wants for Anthony Davis would be interesting. Throw in Crowder, the overseas guy from last year who is farther away from NBA-ready, and some other picks, and they’d have to seriously think. Horford can play the 4/5 and I think he might actually fit better with Cousins, and NO gets a better supporting cast. Boston can replace Crowder with Jaylen or signing someone like Gordon Hayward if he is on good terms with Brad Stevens from their time at Butler.

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        • spence01

          Stick to fantasy ball.

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  3. Franklin Ashley

    As there are two camps one looking to get into the playoffs the other the lottery, and then those others that are in the playoffs already we’ll deal with you next season.

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  4. Grant W

    I know it’s unlikely but imagine the kings snag the two top 10’s and the both end up being stars (for arguemnts sake lets say Markkaken and one of the PG’s) A core of WCS, Hield, Malachi, Skal, georgios, and some vet FA’s complimenting the two stars with a veteran defensive coach lie Joerger would be scary. All theoretical but possible and would definetly change Vlade’s image (even with his apparent foot in mouth syndrome with the media)

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Yeah if the Kings keep both picks and don’t screw them up it would be huge for them. It would set them up really well long term.

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