FanPost

CBA Rules about Trading a Pick

There has been some confusion about trading our pick, so I thought I'd spend some time on the rules.

First, here's the language for the two picks:

Receive 2013 first round draft pick from Memphis

Memphis' own 2013 1st round pick to Minnesota via Houston (top 14 protected in the 2013 Draft, top 14 protected in 2014, top 14 protected in 2015, and top 14 protection in 2016 Draft). If Minnesota via Houston has not yet received this first round pick by the 2016 draft, then so long as Memphis' own 2016 2nd round pick is among the top 55 picks then Minnesota via Houston shall instead receive (1) Memphis' own 2016 2nd round pick and (2) cash. If, however, Minnesota via Houston has not yet received this first round pick by the 2016 draft, but Memphis' own 2016 2nd round pick is not among the top 55 picks then Minnesota via Houston shall instead receive (1) Toronto's own 2016 second round pick via Memphis and (2) cash. [Houston - Memphis, 2/24/2011 and then Houston - Minnesota, 6/24/2011]

Give 2013 first round draft pick to Phoenix

Minnesota's own 2013 1st round pick to Phoenix (Top-13 Protected in the 2013 NBA Draft, top-13 protected in 2014, top-12 protected in 2015 and top-12 protected in the 2016 NBA Draft). However, if Minnesota is entitled to receive Memphis' own 1st round pick (top 14 protected in the 2013 Draft, top 14 protected in 2014, top 14 protected in 2015, and top 14 protected in the 2016 Draft) via Houston, then Minnesota shall convey the less favorable of the two picks to Phoenix. If Minnesota does not convey to Phoenix a first round pick by 2016, then Minnesota shall convey to Phoenix Minnesota's own 2016 and 2017 second round picks. [Minnesota-New Orleans-Phoenix, 7/27/2012]

The Wolves pick is top 13 protected, so there is a chance they could miss the play-offs, and if they had the best record of the lottery teams, be forced to relinquish the pick. For clarity though, I'm going to treat both the MIN and MEM picks as if they were both Top 14 (lotto) protected.

There are four possibilities here:

1. MIN & MEM make the playoffs: PHX gets worse of MEM/MIN pick .. MIN gets better of MEM/MIN pick

2. MEM makes play-offs, MIN misses: PHX gets MEM non-lotto pick .. MIN gets their own lotto pick

3. MIN makes the play-offs, MEM misses: PHX gets MIN pick .. MIN keeps rights to future MEM pick

4. MIN and MEM miss playoffs: MEM and MIN keep their own lottery picks .. MIN still owes PHX

The Stepien Rule states that a team can't make a deal where they would potentially be without a 1st in the next two future drafts. I'll note for clarity that it's "future drafts," so the fact that MIN traded the #16 pick last year doesn't affect the Stepian rule at all.

In cases 1, 2, and 4 - MIN gets a pick so the Stepian rule doesn't apply. In case 3, MIN would not get a pick in 2013. Because of this, MIN cannot trade it's 2014 1st rounder because there is a possibility that they would go two future drafts without a pick. This restriction expires as soon as the standings eliminates the chance for Case 3, or if we do have Case 3, it expires after the 2013 draft.

There are two alternatives:

a. MIN trades the rights to it's current pick (better of MIN/MEM protected)

b. MIN includes very specific language attached to the pick that says that if Case 3 happens, it won't be conferred for two years after - turning it into a 2015 pick.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Finally, let me point out that it may be unlikely that the Wolves would trade the rights to the pick they are receiving from MEM, because it has extra value to them as insurance to protect their pick.

Case in point, if the season ended today, the MEM pick would be #26 and the MIN pick would be #14. For a trade partner, that MEM pick is only worth the #26. However, because MIN can send PHX the worse of the two picks, if they didn't trade the MEM pick they could fulfill their obligation to PHX using the #26 pick, rather than being forced to give them #14.


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