The NBA is a league of surprises, and one of the most surprising things about it is the concept of protected picks. In this article, we will explore what protected picks are, how they work, and how they can affect NBA teams in the long run.
What are Protected Picks?
A protected pick is a draft pick that is traded between two teams with certain conditions attached to it. These conditions usually involve where the pick falls in the draft order. For example, a team might trade a protected pick that will only be given to another team if it falls within the top 10 picks of the draft. If the pick falls outside of the top 10, it is not given to the other team.
How Do Protected Picks Work?
Protected picks are used in trades to help balance out the value of the players and/or assets being exchanged. They allow teams to trade away draft picks while still protecting themselves from giving up too much in the process. The conditions attached to protected picks can vary widely, but they are usually based on the draft order or the success of the team receiving the pick.
Why Are Protected Picks Important?
Protected picks are important for several reasons. First, they allow teams to make trades without giving up too much in return. This can be especially important for small-market teams that may not have the financial resources to compete with bigger-market teams. Second, protected picks can help teams plan for the future. By trading for a protected pick that will only be given up if it falls within a certain range, teams can ensure that they will still have a high draft pick even if they are successful in the short term.
Types of Protected Picks
There are several types of protected picks. Some of the most common include:
Top-3 Protected Picks
A top-3 protected pick is a draft pick that will only be given to another team if it falls outside of the top 3 picks in the draft. If the pick falls within the top 3, it is retained by the original team.
Top-5 Protected Picks
A top-5 protected pick is a draft pick that will only be given to another team if it falls outside of the top 5 picks in the draft. If the pick falls within the top 5, it is retained by the original team.
A lottery-protected pick is a draft pick that will only be given to another team if it falls outside of the lottery (the first 14 picks) in the draft. If the pick falls within the lottery, it is retained by the original team.
An unprotected pick is a draft pick that is traded without any conditions attached to it. The team receiving the pick will get it no matter where it falls in the draft order.
How Do Protected Picks Affect NBA Teams?
Protected picks can have a significant impact on NBA teams. For teams that are rebuilding, protected picks can be a valuable asset that helps them acquire young talent and build for the future. For teams that are contending, protected picks can be used to acquire established players who can help them win now.
Protected picks can also have a financial impact on teams. If a team has a protected pick that it is likely to receive, it may be less likely to spend money on free agents or take on expensive contracts in trades. This can help small-market teams stay competitive by keeping their costs down.
Protected picks are an important part of the NBA landscape. They allow teams to make trades without giving up too much in return, and they can be a valuable asset for teams that are rebuilding or contending. By understanding how protected picks work and the different types of protections that can be attached to them, fans can gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of the NBA.