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Draft Day Trade Analysis: Pick Exchanges with Incentives.



I have a lot of free time this month, so I figured I'd do a run down of the last 5 years of draft day trades. This series of posts will aim to provide some insight into the value of a draft pick. It will accomplish this goal by examining the 3 basic types of draft day trades from recent history: pick exchanges with incentives, picks for players, and finally picks for cash. Today's topic is going to be pick exchanges with incentives.

What is a pick exchange with incentive? It's where a team trades their pick for another first round pick. That's the basic criteria here. Players or cash is the incentive for the team that moves down. There have been 12 "pick exchanges with incentives" in the last 5 years. In order to examine the quality of players that are used as incentive in these trades, I've included there PER for the season PRIOR to the draft. Keep in mind that other incentives, such as offloading contracts, are things that should be considered but I haven't included.

What I want to discuss are the patterns here. Is there anything you see that you find relevant? One thing I'm noticing, no player involved in a pick swap is close to all-star level talent. The highest rated player was involved in the 3-5 pick swap, which was Mike Miller. At the time, his stats say he was an average starter caliber player. What does this mean for our draft? Don't expect the world if you're pick exchanging. In particular, no two lottery picks have been bundled together in the last 5 years, which makes a scenario like the one the Blazers are in (6, 11) unlikely that they trade up. Given recent history, Boston has a likely chance of succeeding in trading up to the lower teens if they package both their lower 20 picks. Outside of the lottery, expect bench players, cash, and second rounders to be involved in moves.

How this affects the Blazers: 6 + a starter quality player (has to be Matthews, Batum isn't under contract) could probably get you 4th pick. Two lottery picks to move up hasn't been done, but there's always a time for firsts. I would think two lottery picks would have to get you the 2nd pick. Trading down from 11th isn't likely to get you both Houstons picks, but may get you both Bostons picks.


Here is the basic format I'm using: 1st round picks are underlined.

Team 1: What team 1 is trading. Team 2: What team 2 is trading.

Here is the pick exchanges for the last 5 years:

2007
Philadelphia: 21st + Future 2nd + Cash. Miami: 20th

2008
Memphis: Pick 5, Mike Miller (PER 16.4), Brian Cardinal (PER 7), Jason Collins (PER 5).Minnesota: Pick 3, Marko Jaric (PER 12.1), Antoine Walker(PER 11.4), Greg Buckner (PER 7).

Portland: Pick 13, Jarrett Jack (PER 13), Josh McRoberts (PER 20*but limited minutes throws off stat). Indiana: Pick 11, Ike Diogu (PER 17* but limited minutes throws off stat)

2009
Denver: Conditional future 1st round pick Minnesota: 18th pick

Oklahoma City: 25th pick, future 2nd round pick. Dallas: 24th pick

2010
Oklahoma City: 21st pick, 26th pick New Orleans: 11th pick

LA Clippers: Future conditional first round pick. Oklahoma City: 18th pick

New Jersey: 27th pick, 31st pick. Atlanta: 24th pick

2011

3 team deal:
Bobcats: 19th pick, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston. (recieve 7th pick, Maggette) Kings:7th pick, Beno Udrih (recieve Salmons and 10th pick) Bucks: 10th pick, Corey Magette (receive Udrih, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, 19th pick)

Minnesota then goes on trade down several times, receiving cash each time. This started at pick 20.
Traded 20 for 23 + cash, 23 for 28+cash, 28 for 31+cash. They probably made a lot of money that day.

If this topic gets enough replies, I'll do a follow up on "Picks for Players" in which we'll look at all the recent draft day trades where picks are used for veterans.

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