Well, we watch the players for the 2010 draft in January so let's watch those hard earned picks.
Plenty of us sit in the stands, at home or, in my case, at work simultaneously hoping for a win while knowing each loss keeps our own pick safe from the grubby clutches of the Clippers and ensures an avalanche of ping pong balls for the Wolves on lottery day. (As an aside, screw the ping pong balls. Win dammit!)
Meanwhile the rights to two other first round picks are in the balance. The Utah pick was donated to use by Philadelphia to soften the blow of the arrival of Calvin Booth and give us a free look at Rod Carney.
The 2010 Charlotte pick was received from Denver in exchange for pick 18 in the 2009 (which originally belonged to Miami) draft, which ended up being Ty Lawson.
After the jump we'll talk about protection and what might happen with these picks. Additionally it's worth discussing how many first round picks we really want in the 2010 draft.
The Utah pick is a tricky beast and this is our best year to snare it with protection bottoming out at top 15.
According to our own draft page
2010 1st round pick from Utah via Philadelphia (Carney trade); top 15 protected in 2010, top 17 protected in 2011, top 16 protected in 2012 and 2013, becomes a 2nd round pick in 2014; via RealGM: If Utah's own 2010 1st round pick is not protected, and if Utah is entitled to receive New York’s own 2010 1st round pick, then Utah shall convey to Minnesota via Philadelphia the least favorable of its own 2010 1st round pick and New York’s 2010 1st round pick. If Minnesota via Philadelphia does not receive a 1st round pick from Utah pursuant to the foregoing in any of the Drafts from 2009 through 2013, then Utah’s obligation to send a 1st round pick to Minnesota via Philadelphia shall be extinguished and Utah shall instead convey to Minnesota via Philadelphia Utah’s own 2014 second round draft pick and pay to Philadelphia cash
This bold section is a point of contention with Kevin Love Jefferson who believes we have no call on the Knick pick at all. If anyone can clarify this, it would be most appreciated. It may indeed be important in a few months.
Utah have cap issues and if the media is to be believed, everyone bar Deron WIlliams is on the block. If the squad is dismantled then that mid teen protection may be sufficient to keep it from our grasp.
And at this point it is beyond our grasp with Utah sitting as the ninth seed in the West
7. Houston 20-16
8. Oklahoma City 19-16
9. Utah 19-16
10. New Orleans 17-16
11. Memphis 17-17
12. Clippers 16-18
It's not hard to see the Jazz struggling in this area of the table for the entire season and if they make a big salary based moved before the deadline, they could slip further. They have back to back road games in Memphis and Dallas before a three game home stand (MIA, CLE, MIL)
The strength of the West may cost us a pick, however the squadron of ordinary squads in the East may prove a bonus for us. Where .500 teams are a game and a half out in the West, .500 gets you the sixth seed in the East (Toronto) with a two and a half game buffer.
The Charlotte Bobcats have hit a purple patch winning three on the bounce including road games in Miami and Cleveland and most recently a home game against Chicago. 15-18 gets you the seventh slot in the East.
Canis Hoopus says:
2010 1st round pick from Charlotte via Denver (Lawson trade); top 12 protected in 2010, top 10 protected in 2011, top 8 protected in 2012, top 3 protected in 2013, unprotected in 2014
6. Toronto 18-18
7. Charlotte 15-18
8. Milwaukee 14-18
9. Chicago 14-19
10. New York 14-20
The margins here are wafer thin. A Cats loss in New York on Thursday has them close to dropping back out of the playoffs.
While recent form is very good, this Charlotte team do verily stink on the road. In fact they are only as good as the Timberwolves, going 3-14 this season. Truth is many of the teams around them travel poorly also.
They have a tough four game home stand (MEM, HOU, PHX and SA) approaching followed by three division games (MIA, @ATL, ORL) and then a six game Western road trip (DEN, PHX, GSW, SAC, POR, LAL). Happy days may be short lived.
So while this is likely a premature examination of our pick scenario, these picks could well remain in the balance for much of the season. David Kahn may yet have to decide how to handle three first round picks (again), or he may simply say "Wall" on draft night.