In Defense of the Wizards Selling a Draft Pick
How could a team sell its only draft pick when it’s roster has so many holes? Aren’t second round picks (and their non-guaranteed salaries) supposed to be extremely valuable under the new CBA?
There appeared to be no basketball-related justification for the move–only a callous economic one. The financial motivation seemed even clearer after Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported that an internal league memo revealed that last season the Wizards lost the second most money in the entire NBA–a cool $13 million. Only the Brooklyn Nets lost more–albeit a lot more ($144 million).
So that proves Ted was being cheap, right?
Not necessarily. Try looking at this from another perspective.
Let’s say you are Ted Leonsis. You own the 46th pick in a draft that only lasts 60 picks. You visit the war room early in the second round and gaze at the draft board. You see a long list of available players. Your general manager points to three names circled at the top. Those are his targets. Unfortunately, if CSN’s J. Michael is to be believed, by the time your pick comes around all three guys are taken.
The phone rings. It is Mitch Kupchak. He really wants to give you $1.8 million. All you have to give him is your pick. You look at the draft board. You look at Ernie Grunfeld. You put the phone down and have the following conversation:
Ted: If we wait 30 minutes until the draft ends, most of these guys on your list will be available for free, right?
Ernie: I suppose.
Ted: Is there anyone on your list who is worth giving up $1.8 million to draft?
Ernie: Well, even Bill Simmons admitted the draft is a crapshoot so I cannot guarantee anything, but I kind of like this one guy…
Ted: That’s cool. I can take it from here. [Picks up phone] Mitch? You still there?
Selling the pick does not sound so crazy anymore, does it? Now, you may be thinking: Wait a minute, your whole argument is that Ted should sell the pick because Ernie cannot be trusted to use it wisely? Isn’t that a bad sign?
Look, I am telling you how the world is, not how it ought to be. To paraphrase Chris Rock, I am not saying I agree with selling the pick, but I understand.
All Recent Posts
- Wall, Beal and Gortat Paying the Price for Washington’s Bad Bench January 5, 2017
- Wizards Get Texas Two-Stepped to Start 2017 January 4, 2017
- Wizards Undone by Old Friends in Houston January 3, 2017
- The Wizards Fly In and Out of Comfort Zone in Houston January 3, 2017
- From the Other Side: Throwing Bullets and Finishing at the Rim January 2, 2017
- Wizards Over Nets — A Return to .500 in Blowout Fashion December 31, 2016
- How the New NBA All-Star Voting Rules May Save John Wall December 29, 2016
- Man Down, Fans Up — Wizards Extend Home Winning Streak to 7 December 29, 2016
- From The Other Side: Indiana Pacers Face An Existential Crisis in MidWestworld December 29, 2016
- Opening Statements 31: Wizards vs Pacers — 2 Lumps of Coal and 2 Gifts December 28, 2016
- How Do You Stop Giannis Antetokounmpo? Just Ask Him December 28, 2016
- Wizards Remarkable Enough in 4th Quarter Comeback Over Bucks December 28, 2016
- From The Other Side: Otto Dangerfield Sinks the Bucks December 27, 2016