Doug Collins mentioned it in an interview shortly after he was hired, the Knicks did it last summer, Portland has made a habit out of it. Yes, for a number of reasons, draft picks are typically for sale. After the jump we'll take a look at who could be selling and why in the hopes that the Sixers will be buyers.
Teams do sell picks in both rounds of the draft, but I'm going to concentrate on the first round only for the purposes of this post. Mainly because first round picks carry guaranteed contracts with them, meaning they add to the cap number for the teams making the picks. Second round picks are not guaranteed. It's this distinction that makes me believe at least a couple of the teams listed below will be more than willing to move theirs picks.
Looking to clear cap space
- Miami - They are projected to have $41,530,055 in cap space, but have literally nothing under contract. They own the #18 pick in the draft, which carries a guaranteed contract of $1.237M. I definitely believe this one will be for sale. Pat Riley is trying to retain Dwyane Wade, possibly add LeBron James or Chris Bosh and then some. $3M could pry this pick away from them.
- New Jersey Nets - Projected to have $26,338,145 in cap space. They own the #3 and #27 picks in the first round. No way will they just sell the #3 pick, but the #27 pick is $868K of cap space they don't need to have on the books. Again, $3M could do it.
- Washington - Projected to have $21,359,484 in cap space. They own the #1 and #30 picks in the first round. Pick #30 may be for sale, though I doubt they're a legitimate threat to get one of the top tier free agents. The #30 pick carries a $850K guaranteed contract.
- Chicago - Projected to have $20,578,404 in cap space. They own the #17 pick. An extra $1.3M in cap space could open up enough room to do more than simply add a max contract.
- Sacramento - Projected to have $18,661,372 in cap space. They own the #5 pick. Highly doubtful they'd sell the pick, even though it carries a guaranteed $2.8M contract.
- Clippers - Projected to have $17,974,712 in cap space. They own the #8 pick in the draft. This is interesting because you've got a team bordering on enough money to add a max player to a pretty well formed starting lineup, plus they've got a notoriously cheap owner. I think Sterling may have a hard time turning down $3M for this pick, though he'd probably try to get something else out of you in the deal. The #8 pick is guaranteed a contract starting at $2.136M.
- Thunder - Projected to have $15,056,613 in cap space. They own #21 and #26 in the first round. OKC is in a unique position, they're just shy of being able to add a max contract to their payroll, but they've been stockpiling picks and protecting their cap space for a couple of years now. If they decide to make a big run for someone, they may look to those two late first-rounders as a means to clear the extra cap space needed. Combined, the picks account for $1.9M against the cap.
- Minnesota - Projected to have $14,781,291 in cap space. They own #4, #16 and #23 in the first round. The Timberwolves are not only a complete mess, but they seem to be run by morons as well. I can't see any marquee free agent signing there, but who knows what they're thinking. The #4 pick is guaranteed $3.1M, #16 is guaranteed $1.37M, and #23 is guaranteed $1M.
So there you have it, the pending free agent bonanza could put as many as 12 first round picks up for sale, including three or four picks in the top ten. Opportunities will arise, will the Sixers be willing to pony up to add another young piece?