NBA Draft: Trades Years in Advance

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 16: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors talks with Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game during the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2017 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

*List only goes back the last 10 years

Cavs draft Colin Sexton #8 in 2018

This trade is well-known but the Cavs picked Sexton using a pick that originally belonged to the Nets, but was one of the four first round picks sent to the Celtics in 2013 as part of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade.

76ers draft Mikal Bridges #10 in 2018

This pick was well-traveled and was used by Philly on draft night, on behalf of the Lakers. In 2012, the Lakers acquired Steve Nash via sign-and-trade which netted the Suns a handful of draft picks, including a 2013 first round pick and an unprotected 2018 first round pick. In 2015, 76ers acquired this pick from the Suns in a three team trade. In the trade, Suns received Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall and Bucks received Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis. Ironically, on the night of the 2018 draft, this pick was sent back to the Suns as the Sixers swapped Bridges and Zhaire Smith, who was drafted #15. The incentive for the swap was the Suns trading Philly a 2021 pick that belonged to the Heat (we’ll add that to this list in a few years)

Hawks drafted Kevin Huerter #19 in 2018

In 2015, Timberwolves traded a 2018 lottery-protected first round pick to the Hawks for Adreian Payne. Go figure, 2018 was the first time Minnesota made the playoffs in 13 years. Payne averaged 4 ppg in three seasons with the Wolves, while Huerter is considered a building block for the Hawks future.

76ers draft Markelle Fultz #1, Celtics draft Jayson Tatum #3 in 2017

These two have to be lumped together because the Celtics won the lottery, via the Nets draft pick courtesy of the above mentioned trade. They moved back two spots, trading the pick to Philly for #3. 76ers acquired this pick as part of one of the worst trades in NBA history – in 2015, Kings traded Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson to the 76ers for a 2017 first round pick swap and 2019 unprotected first round pick. Why? The Kings would pick 5th and come away with De’aron Fox. Ironically, 76ers come away as the big losers in this scenario, despite having the #1 pick.

Nuggets draft Jamal Murray #7, Raptors draft Jacob Poetl #9 in 2016

2016 Draft was not kind to the Knicks. Ironically, both the Nuggets and Raptors had first round picks because of trades executed by Masai Ujiri.

The Knicks’ 2016 first round pick was the final piece of the famous 2011 trade for Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks didn’t convey the pick outright, it was a pick swap but the problem for the Knicks was they also owed a pick to the Raptors from the 2013 trade for Andrea Bargnani. So, the Nuggets pick was technically 9 and the Knicks was 7 – Denver excercised their pick swap and took Jamal Murray 7th and the 9th pick went to the Raptors, who took Jacob Poetl. Poetl was used as part of the trade package in 2018 that helped Toronto acquire Kawhi Leonard.

Bucks draft Malcolm Brogdon #36 in 2016

Brogdon was this class’s Rookie of the Year in 2017, but the pick didn’t initially belong to the Bucks. This pick was part of two trades, made within days of each other in July 2013. First, Pelicans acquired Tyreke Evans from the Kings and the Blazers acquired Robin Lopez from the Pelicans. Among other small pieces, Kings acquired a second round pick, with the option to swap with the Pelicans (should their pick be more desirable). Days later, that pick was traded to the Bucks and the Kings acquired Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Lakers draft Larry Nance Jr #27 in 2015

In the summer of 2014, Rockets traded Jeremy Lin and a 2015 first round pick to the Lakers, in an attempt to clear salary. Lakers used the pick wisely, drafting Larry Nance.

Thunder drafted Steven Adams #12 in 2014

In 2012, the Raptors acquired Kyle Lowry from the Rockets for Gary Forbes and a future first round pick. The Rockets later used that pick as part of their package for for James Harden.

Blazers draft Damian Lillard #6 in 2012

At the 2012 trade deadline, the Nets traded a first round pick, Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams to the Blazers for Gerald Wallace. That first round pick would turn into Lillard.

Warriors draft Draymond Green #35 in 2012

2012 Draft picks were not kind to the Nets. In 2011, they traded a second round pick and Troy Murphy to the Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Brandon Wright.

Cavs win the 2011 Draft Lottery and get Kyrie Irving

At the 2011 trade deadline, the Cavs traded Mo Williams to the Clippers for Baron Davis and a first round pick. That Clippers pick would win the lottery and result in Kyrie Irving going to Cleveland.

Jazz draft Gordon Hayward #10 in 2010

The pick originally belonged to the Knicks and was part of the Stephon Marbury trade with the Suns in 2003. Knicks sent two first round picks to the Suns, who one year later traded both picks (2004 and 2010) to the Jazz as part of a package to dump Tom Guigliotta and acquire Keon Clark.

Wolves draft Ricky Rubio #5, Johnny Flynn #6 in 2009

Wolves famously drafted two point guards back-to-back in 2009 and neither of them was named Steph Curry. At 5, Wolves took Ricky Rubio, with the Wizards pick and then drafted Johnny Flynn at 6. Curry went to Warriors at 7.

In 2009, Wizards had the best odds of winning the lottery, but instead the pick fell to 5th and Washington traded it, along with Etan Thomas and others for Randy Foye and Mike Miller.

Amazingly, that 6th pick was initially the Wolves but was traded to the Celtics in 2006, along with Wally Szczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi for Ricky Davis, Marcus Banks and the draft rights to Wayne Ellington. One year later, the Celtics traded the pick back as part of their trade package for Kevin Garnett, which also includes Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes and Sebastian Telfair.


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About Mike Schneid 530 Articles
Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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