NBA AM: Are Teams Shopping Lottery Picks?

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Want A Pick, A Few Are Available:  ESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting that fair number of late lottery level picks could be had in trade, especially as some of those teams look to swap an unproven draft pick for a proven veteran.

According to Ford, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns are all open to offers, while the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors are trying to move up or acquire a second pick.

None of this is overly surprising, especially considering that the talent level that’s likely to be there at six through 14 isn’t nearly that of the top of the draft board, and for teams like the Celtics, the Lakers or even the Kings the two- or three-year learning curve of a player drafted this year isn’t nearly as appealing as a player a little further along developmentally.

When you look at the success rate of the picks outside the top five, despite the perceived depth of this draft class, it truly is hit or miss.

Here is a look at how picks five through 14 have panned out over the last 30 seasons.

5th Pick

Best Players: Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Juwan Howard, Steve Smith, Mitch Richmond, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley

Duds: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Jonathan Bender

On average, the fifth overall selection plays in the NBA for 9.8 years, which is skewed a little because of the number of Hall of Fame-level guys the fifth has produced. In 30 seasons, the fifth pick has produced 11 All-Star players.

Complete History of the Fifth Pick.

6th Pick

Best Players: Damian Lillard, Brandon Roy, Wally Szczerbiak, Antoine Walker, Tom Gugliotta, Hersey Hawkins, Kenny Smith

Duds: Jonny Flynn, Yi Jianlian, Dajuan Wagner, DerMarr Johnson, Robert Traylor

The sixth pick produced a lot of average NBA players, with some notable disappointments. On average, the sixth pick plays 7.1 years in the NBA and has produced seven All-Star players in 30 years. The six has not been kind in the modern era with a lot of boom or bust guys, who ultimately busted.

Complete History of the Sixth Pick.

7th Pick

Best Players: Harrison Barnes, Steph Curry, Greg Monroe, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Jason Williams, Damon Stoudemire, Kevin Johnson, Chris Mullin

Duds: Bismack Biyombo, Eddie Griffin, Chris Mihm, Tim Thomas, Roy Tarpley

The seventh pick has produced some solid NBA players and few massive misses. There were a few swing-for-the-fences picks at seven (that’s you, Bismack). On average, the seventh pick has played 8.5 years in the NBA and produced six All-Star players.

The seventh pick has produced some role-player type guys, so it’s not a terrible pick historically. However, there are no real mega-stars out of the seven except for maybe Steph Curry.

Complete History of the Seventh Pick.

8th Pick

Best Players: Rudy Gay, Jamal Crawford, Andre Miller, Larry Hughes, Kerry Kittles, Vin Baker, Detlef Schrempf

Duds: Joe Alexander, Rafael Araujo, Chris Wilcox, DeSagana Diop, Shawn Respert, Todd Day

Yikes. The eight pick has produced some serious misses. Overall, there have been some solid role players drafted at eight, but there are a lot of guys who simply were not good selections. On average, the eight pick plays 8.2 seasons in the NBA, so there has been some longevity for several guys, but just two All-Stars.

The miss rate at the eighth pick is pretty real.

Complete History of the Eighth Pick.

9th Pick

Best Players: Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward, DeMar DeRozan, Joakim Noah, Andre Iguodala, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Tracy McGrady, Stacey Augmon, Rony Seikaly, Charles Oakley, Dale Ellis

Duds: Patrick O’Bryant, Ike Diogu, Mike Sweetney, Rodney White, Ed O’Bannon

The ninth pick has produced some solid NBA players, including a likely future Hall of Famer in Nowitzki. On average, the ninth pick plays 9.1 years and has produced 10 All-Stars.

While there were some serious misses with the ninth pick, there have been plenty of home-runs to offset them.

Complete History of the Ninth Pick.

10th Pick

Best Players: Paul George, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bynum, Caron Butler, Joe Johnson, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Eddie Jones, Horace Grant

Duds: Austin Rivers, Jimmer Fredette, Saer Sene, Luke Jackson, Jarvis Hayes, Bison Dele

The 10th pick has not been kind recently. Austin Rivers might become something, but he was selected with a pick that’s produced huge flame outs. The No. 10 is a roll of the dice, at best. On average, the 10th pick plays 9.1 years in the NBA, but that’s skewed a little by guys like Pierce, Jones and Grant that had huge careers. The 10 has produced some All-Stars, eight of them to be exact. It has also produced Saer Sene, so there is that too.

Complete History of the 10th Pick.

11th Pick

Best Players: Michael Carter-Williams, Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick, Allan Houston, Robert Horry, Terrell Brandon, Tyrone Hill, Nick Anderson, Reggie Miller, John Salley, Kevin Willis

Duds: Cole Aldrich, Terrence Williams, Acie Law, Fran Vazquez, Andris Biedrins, Jerome Moiso, Bonzi Wells, Tariq Abdul-Wahad

The 11th pick historically produced some solid players, but recently it has not been nearly as fruitful. There have been some pretty flat picks over the last 10 years at the 11th spot, including the epically bad Fran Vazquez pick. On average, the 11th pick plays 8.2 years in the NBA, but that’s skewed by the heavy hitters taken at No. 11 in the 80’s and 90’s. The 11 has produced five All-Stars, none of them drafted after 1993.

Complete History of the 11th Pick.

12th Pick

Best Players: Thaddeus Young, Nick Collison, Etan Thomas, Greg Anthony, Mookie Blaylock, Muggsy Bogues

Duds: Hilton Armstrong, Yaroslav Korolev, Robert Swift, Melvin Ely, Cherokee Parks, Khalid Reeves, Harold Miner

The 12th pick has been plain awful. There is some potential from the most recent crop like Steven Adams and Jeremy Lamb, but it’s far from certain. On average, the 12th pick plays seven season in the NBA and has produced one All-Star (Blaylock). The No. 12 is a pretty scary pick historically.

Complete History of the 12th Pick.

13th Pick

Best Players: Thabo Sefolosha, Corey Maggette, Kobe Bryant, Jalen Rose, Dale Davis, Karl Malone

Duds: Julian Wright, Sean May, Marcus Banks, Marcus Haislip, Courtney Alexander, Keon Clark, Terry Dehere

There are two Hall of Famers and MVPs taken at thirteen, so that skews the averages a little. But the top of the board on 13 is downright average to scary. Bryant and Malone skew the average career on the 13th pick to eight years. The 13th pick has also produced three All-Stars (Bryant, Davis and Malone). But there are also a lot of solid duds at 13.

Complete History of the 13th Pick.

14th Pick

Best Players: Peja Stojakovic, Malik Sealy, Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, Clyde Drexler

Duds: Anthony Randolph, Fred Jones, Mateen Cleaves, Michael Dickerson, Maurice Taylor, Yinka Dare

It’s somewhat sad that you don’t find a player of real relevance drafted No. 14 until Stojakovic was drafted in 1995. The modern era at 14 is average to say it nicely. The 14th pick has played an average of 6.5 seasons and has produced four All-Star, none since Stojakovic. The dud factor at No. 14 is pretty high.

Complete History of the 14th Pick.

If you’d like to see the history of every NBA pick, by pick, check this out. If you would like to see the history of the draft by team, check this out.

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Bowers In Detroit:  Before you groan too loudly NOLA fans, the Jeff Bowers addition to Stan Van Gundy’s new front office in Detroit is actually a solid hire.

The Pistons made it official yesterday, naming Bowers to the general manager post. He will report to Van Gundy, who took over the team as president of basketball operations a few weeks ago.

Under Van Gundy, Bowers will handle the day-to-day tasks that Van Gundy had little interest in managing. There had been several names connected to the job including former Magic executive Otis Smith, who worked with Van Gundy in Orlando, and former NBA executive Stu Jackson. The Pistons settled in on Bowers several days ago and had been working through the hiring and contract process.

Sources close to the situation said that Bowers’ track record and management skills made him attractive to the Pistons. Van Gundy will be making the final call on many of the decisions, but in Bowers, Detroit gets a capable and experienced right-hand-man-type, who knows his way around the league and can handle all of the tasks Van Gundy has said he might struggle to handle while being the head coach, but isn’t so big of an ego to overshadow or cloud the chain of command.

In a released statement, Van Gundy pointed to Bowers’ track record for building a team as a strength.

“Jeff brings great basketball knowledge and NBA experience to our organization and he’s enjoyed success in building teams,” Van Gundy said. “He’s a great evaluator of talent and Jeff will bring solid leadership to our front office.”

With Bowers in place, the Pistons are expected to start adding more personalities to their front office with the hope of having the key positions filled well before the June 26 NBA Draft.

Passing On Parsons’ Option:  While this may not come as a huge surprise, word is the Houston Rockets are passing on their fourth-year option on forward Chandler Parsons and will issue him a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent this summer.

Parsons signed a unique deal as a second-round pick, after falling to the 38th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Parsons agreed to a deal that had three fully guaranteed years in exchange for a fourth team option year. The interesting part of that deal is that Parsons has served the required three years and is now eligible for a full Bird rights contract; however he has not served the required four years in the NBA in order to become an unrestricted free agent.

Parsons’ contract takes advantage of virtually all the loopholes to control a player’s rights without overpaying him. With a nominal Qualifying Offer – just over $1 million – the Rockets will have the right to match any offers Parsons receives in free agency.

The Rockets could have picked up their option and explored trading Parsons as part of a bigger play to land a free agent, however his $900,000 salary wouldn’t return much. Choosing to go this route, the Rockets could use Parsons in a sign-and-trade and inflate his salary to match whatever incoming deal they want to make – assuming Parsons goes along for the ride.

Both sides have said all year that a long-term deal in Houston was the plan; however with the Rockets in the hunt for a third major player Parsons could be an interesting chip, although a little more complicated. Parsons now has a lot of say in where he plays next, especially if it’s not Houston, as he would have to agree to a sign-and-trade and the only way that happens is if it is to a team he wants to be on or under a financial package that rewards him for playing along.

The smart money says the Rockets and Parsons are inking a new deal this summer; however letting him hit free agency allows someone else to set the price tag.

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