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NBA AM: Looking At The Draft Pick Debt For 2015

The 2015 NBA Draft looks to have more twists and turns than normal.

Steve Kyler profile picture
Updated 10 months ago on
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Who Owes What?:  With the salary cap system in the NBA getting harder and harder, the value placed on draft picks has increased exponentially. Over the years, teams amass a tremendous amount of “pick debt” – picks owed for long dead transactions. The 2015 NBA draft represents just one of the more complex years in terms of debt and how that debt is to be paid and structured.

Here is the current snap shot of what’s owed and how it’s to be paid.

Team First Round Second Round
Atlanta Hawks Have their own, plus the rights to swap with Brooklyn. Have their own, plus Toronto’s pick.
Boston Celtics Have their own plus LA Clippers’. Receives Philadelphia’s if it’s 15-30 and Dallas’ if it’s 4-14. Have their own if it’s 31-55, plus Cleveland’s pick if it’s 56-60, plus Philadelphia’s pick if Boston does not get Philly’s first, plus Washington’s pick if it’s 50-60.
Brooklyn Nets Atlanta has the rights to swap picks. Have their own.
Charlotte Hornets Have their own. Have their own.
Chicago Bulls Have their own, plus Sacramento’s pick if it’s 11-30 and the rights to swap with Cleveland if their pick is 15-30. More favorable of their own pick and Portland’s goes to Orlando, less favorable goes to Denver.
Cleveland Cavaliers Have their own if 1-14. If 15-30 Chicago has rights to swap at their choice, plus Memphis pick if 6-14. Conveyed to Utah. Have rights to Boston’s pick if it’s 56-60, plus Sacramento’s pick if it’s 56-60 and Philadelphia’s pick if it’s 51-55 and Philly’s first goes to Boston.
Dallas Mavericks Keep their own if it is 1-3 or 15-30, convey to Boston if it’s 4-14. Have their own.
Denver Nuggets Have their own. Less favorable of their pick and Minnesota’s goes to Houston. Have rights to Clippers’ pick if it’s 56-60, plus the rights to the less favorable of Chicago and Portland’s pick.
Detroit Pistons Have their own. Have their own.
Golden State Warriors Have their own. Conveyed to Philadelphia.
Houston Rockets Have their own if it’s 1-14, convey to LA Lakers if it’s 14-30. Plus rights to New Orleans’ pick if 4-19. Pick conveyed to Philadelphia. Have rights to Knicks’ pick, plus less favorable of Denver and Minnesota’s picks.
Indiana Pacers Have their own. Have their own.
Los Angeles Clippers Conveyed to Boston. Have their own if it’s 31-50, convey to Lakers if 51-55, to Denver if it’s 56-60.
Los Angeles Lakers Keep their own pick if it’s 1-5, convey to Phoenix if it’s 6-30. Have their own if it’s 31-40, convey to Orlando if 41-60. Plus rights to Clippers’ pick if it’s 51-55.
Memphis Grizzlies Have their own if it’s 1-5 or 15-30, convey to Cleveland if it’s 6-14. Have their own. Replaced pick debt to Denver with cash.
Miami Heat Have their own if it’s 1-10, convey to Philadelphia if it’s 11-30. Have their own, plus rights to Sacramento’s pick if it’s 50-55.
Milwaukee Bucks Have their own. Have their own.
Minnesota Timberwolves Have their own if it’s 1-12, convey to Phoenix if it’s 13-30. Keeps more favorable of their’s and Denver’s pick, conveys the lesser of the two to Houston. Plus Sacramento’s pick if it’s 31-49.
New Orleans Pelicans Have their own if it’s 1-3 or 20-30, convey to Houston if it’s 4-19. Conveyed to Philadelphia.
New York Knicks Have their own. Conveyed to Houston.
Oklahoma City Thunder Have their own. Have their own, plus rights to Philadelphia’s if it’s 56-60 and Philly conveys first to Boston.
Orlando Magic Have their own. Conveyed to Philadelphia. Plus LA Lakers’ pick if it’s 41-60, plus more favorable of Chicago/Portland’s pick.
Philadelphia 76ers Have their own if it’s 1-14, convey to Boston if it’s 15-30. Plus Miami’s pick if it’s 11-30. Conveyed to Boston if they do not provide first round pick. Plus New Orleans’, Golden State’s, Orlando’s and Houston’s picks.
Phoenix Suns Have their own plus Minnesota’s pick if it’s 13-30 and Lakers if it’s 6-30. Have their own.
Portland Trail Blazers Have their own. Orlando receives more favorable of Portland/Chicago’s picks, convey less favorable of the two to Denver.
Sacramento Kings Have their own if 1-10,conveyed to Chicago if 11-30. Convey to Minnesota if it’s 31-49, Miami if it’s 50-55, Cleveland if it’s 56-60
San Antonio Spurs Have their own. Have their own.
Toronto Raptors Have their own. Conveyed to Atlanta.
Utah Jazz Have their own. Have their own, plus rights to Cleveland’s pick.
Washington Wizards Have their own. Have their own if 31-49, convey to Boston if it’s 50-60.

For complete listing of what’s owed check out the Basketball Insiders Draft Pick Debt section. If you are curious how it all happened, here is where you can find a detailed history of NBA Trades.

What To Make Of Noah Vonleh?:  The Charlotte Hornets have assigned rookie Noah Vonleh to the D-League, announcing that the team felt he could use more playing time.

During the draft process, there was a narrative that suggested Vonleh could have been a top-four pick, that his stock was extremely high and teams were clamoring for him. On draft night, Vonleh took a mighty tumble all the way to Charlotte at number nine. The belief at the time was they got a steal.

Vonleh struggled during summer league play, shooting just 28.4 percent from the field and an even worse 12.5 percent from the three-point line.

That’s where the concerns really started. Vonleh wasn’t the knock down shooter he was marketed to be and he was really struggling to process the speed and pace of even summer league play.

The Hornets said all the right things, hoping that the time between summer league and training camp would help Vonleh adjust and then he suffered an injury. In early September, Vonleh was diagnosed with a sports hernia that required surgery, costing him all of September and all of training camp.

To say Vonleh feels behind is something of an understatement. He made his Hornets debut on November 15, logging just six minutes. He recorded seven minutes in the next game and did not play in next six.

Conditioning and timing were problems. Combine that with the Hornets being in free fall in the win/loss column and the coaching staff simply moved on, shifting their focus on trying to right the ship, leaving little to no time for Vonleh.

The ninth overall pick has logged time in just four games this season.

Hornets head coach Steve Clifford tried to rationalize the situation to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

”It’s the speed of the game: To play consistent, regular minutes you have to have a comfort level with how the NBA game is played,” Clifford said. “Unfortunately once the season starts you only have certain stretches of the year where you can practice a lot.

“He’s a 19-year-old who missed all of September, when the foundation was put in, and all of October and is now playing catch-up.

“The thing that gives him a chance is he’s very gifted and a great worker. But it would be tough for anybody to catch up quickly after missing his rookie preseason.”

Vonleh is trapped in a numbers game with sophomore big man Cody Zeller and veterans Marvin Williams and Jason Maxiell seeing the bulk of the minutes at his spot.

The Hornets have not given up on Vonleh, but it’s clear that after missing so much of the early part of the season that he is unlikely to play a big role for the Hornets this season.

Vonleh made his D-League debut last night, logging 16 minutes for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and kicking in 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Vonleh played rather well in limited minutes, challenging at the rim and scoring his first points in the fourth quarter on a dunk.

Vonleh’s long-term future is still very cloudy; however, the Hornets’ stance is simply that Vonleh fell too far behind to be a meaningful contributor at this point. The hope is some extended time in the D-League will help move things along.

Time will tell if Vonleh can be that guy he was touted to be coming into the draft process. For now, he’s simply a rookie trying to get minutes.

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Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

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