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2014 First Round Picks (Which Teams Own The Picks?)

While RealGM has an excellent database of the draft picks that have been traded between teams, I wanted to put together a summary more focused on the upcoming draft. For the sake of clarity, this version will only deal with the first round.

Atlanta Hawks- Have the right to swap their own pick with Brooklyn’s. At this point, it appears Atlanta will just keep their own and move on.

Boston Celtics- Have their own first and the less favorable of Atlanta and Brooklyn, likely Brooklyn right now. They have a future first from the Sixers as well, but it only goes this year if Philadelphia makes the playoffs. We all know that will not happen.

Brooklyn Nets- No matter what, they lose their pick without getting one in return.

Charlotte Bobcats- Their own first goes to Chicago as long as the Bobcats stay remotely on track (top-10 protected) but they pick up Portland’s unless the Blazers effectively lose out. The lingering question is Detroit- if the pick is 1-8, the Pistons keep it but if it’s 9th or worse it goes to Charlotte. My gut feeling is that once Detroit knows they will not make the playoffs we will see a push to the bottom reminiscent of the 2012 Warriors.

Chicago Bulls- Have their own pick and Charlotte’s unless the Bobcats collapse. The Sacramento pick they acquired in the Luol Deng trade is top-12 protected so it will not come this year.

Cleveland Cavaliers- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Dallas Mavericks- One of the more interesting situations in the league. By having top-20 protection on their pick (it goes to Oklahoma City if it falls 21-30 this year), the Mavs could lose their pick if they make the playoffs. Right now, the bottom seeds in the West look to be about even with the 3-4 spots in the East, so it could go either way.

Denver Nuggets- They keep the better of their pick and New York’s, sending the worse one to Orlando.

Detroit Pistons- Keep their pick if it is eighth or better, otherwise it goes to Charlotte. I fully expect them to understand the incentives and lose enough to retain it.

Golden State Warriors- Their first goes to Utah no matter what.

Houston Rockets- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Indiana Pacers- Their pick is going to Phoenix as a part of the Luis Scola trade from last summer.

Los Angeles Clippers- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Los Angeles Lakers- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Memphis Grizzlies- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Miami Heat- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Milwaukee Bucks- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Minnesota Timberwolves- The pick is top-13 protected, meaning they have to make the postseason or have the best record of any non-playoff team to send it to Phoenix. At this point, it looks like the pick will be No. 13 and thus the Wolves will keep it.

New Orleans Pelicans- Their pick goes to Philadelphia unless it lands in the top-five. It will be hard for the Pelicans to jump enough of the teams “ahead” of them, but they still have a shot of jumping them in the lottery itself.

New York Knicks- They lose their pick no matter what, though the destination could change.

Oklahoma City Thunder- They have their own pick and get Dallas’ first if it ends up between 21 and 30, certainly a possibility.

Orlando Magic- Retain their own pick and get the less favorable of Denver and New York’s selections. This could end up swinging on whether the Knicks can make the playoffs- if they do, the pick falls a few spots to No. 15.

Philadelphia 76ers- They keep their own pick as long as they miss the playoffs (just a formality at this point) and pick up one from New Orleans as long as it falls outside the top five.

Phoenix Suns- They have their own pick and Indiana’s on lock and appear likely to pick up Washington’s since the Wizards should make the playoffs. Minnesota’s pick has top-13 protection, so I expect the Suns to only end up with three this year.

Portland Trail Blazers- Their pick is going to Charlotte unless the Blazers have a truly epic collapse.

Sacramento Kings- Their pick has top-12 protection, so the Kings look like they will keep it even if they rattle off some late-season wins.

San Antonio Spurs- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Toronto Raptors- Have their own pick free and clear and no other first rounders.

Utah Jazz- They have both their own pick and Golden State’s.

Washington Wizards- They will send their pick to Phoenix barring a major letdown.

How Vince Carter's Extended Third Act Reshapes The First Two

After signing with the Dallas Mavericks the season after their championship, Vince Carter has spent the last three seasons in relative anonymity. As a 6th man on a team clawing for a spot in the bottom of the playoff picture, Carter is far removed from his days as one of the faces of the NBA. Nevertheless, at 37 and in his 15th season in the league, Carter is still an effective player, a testament to his work ethic and underlying ability.

Only the best of the best can survive 15 seasons in the NBA, a ruthlessly Darwinian league where the average career lasts 4.5 seasons. When Antawn Jamison was traded and waived at the deadline, Carter became one of five players from the 1998 draft - along with Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Al Harrington and Rashard Lewis - still in the NBA. Of those five, only Nowitzki, Carter and Pierce still play big roles on their teams in 2014.

And while Pierce and Nowitzki are locks to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, Carter’s legacy is not as clear-cut. Like with Blake Griffin, Carter’s extraordinary dunking ability obscured a far more well-rounded game than critics gave him credit for. His career averages: 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block per game on 44 percent shooting. Over 15 seasons, that’s more than 22,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.

Even in his 15th season, you can see why Carter has been so successful. At 6’6 220 with a nearly 7’0 wingspan, he is bigger, stronger and longer than most SG’s. He no longer has the hops of his youth, but his athleticism is declining from such a peak that he’s still a threat to dunk on people. His size allows him to comfortably swing between the SG and SF positions, giving Rick Carlisle a lot of line-up options with the Mavs' second unit.

Of course, if his game was based solely on dunking on people, there’s no way he could be effective at his age. Carter has always had a fairly complete game, with the ability to shoot from deep, create his own shot off the dribble or in the post, facilitate for others, clean the glass and defend multiple positions on the perimeter. This season, he has per-36 minute averages of 17 points, five rebounds and four assists a game on 41 percent shooting.

The knock has always been that he never lived up to his potential, which is a somewhat odd thing to say about an eight-time All-Star with a career PER of 20.1. And while his popularity made him a shoe-in as a starter for most of the 2000’s, it’s hard to argue that a guard with his statistics didn’t merit a spot on those teams. It says a lot that the biggest knock on a player is that he’s not in the discussion for greatest of all-time at his position.

Carter never put a team on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals, but that was always an unrealistic standard to put on any SG. The reason Michael Jordan is so mythologized is precisely because what he did - dominate the NBA from the SG position - had never been done before. It’s not Mitch “The Rock” Ritchmond’s fault he only had four playoff appearances; at his position, he needed a lot of help to get even that far.

For all the whispers that Carter is a malingerer or that he’s “Half-Man, Half A Season”, he has played in over 1,100 NBA games. Unless you are Andre Miller, you don’t do that by rolling out of bed on the first day of training camp and playing your way into shape. The NBA season is a brutal grind that wrecks the bodies of its players; that goes double for guards, who are constantly flying through the air and landing hard on the ground.

Carter, at 37, is still one of the best perimeter defenders on the Mavericks. To be sure, that’s mostly a reflection of how unathletic the Dallas roster is, but it does speak to Carter’s unique physical attributes as well as his dedication to his craft. He has made over $160 million in the NBA and he’s playing for a team with no shot a championship; love of the game is the only reason to put himself through the grind of the season.

As a free agent at the end of this year, where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. At some point, you would expect the Mavs to stop signing players in their late thirties and end their run as the league’s unofficial retirement home. With a 16.1 PER and the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball at multiple positions, Carter could fit with almost any team in the league. In the right situation, he could play a role on an elite team.

Winning a ring would be a nice capstone on his career, but it’s hard to see it changing his reputation too much. For the most part, Carter has already done what he will do in the NBA. Whether or not that impresses the Hall of Fame voters is ultimately up to them. Either way, his legacy in basketball won’t be defined by whether or not he has a plaque in a glorified office building in Springfield the vast majority of fans will never visit.  

This is what Steve Nash, the most accomplished Canadian basketball player of all-time and the GM of the Canadian national team, had to say about Vince’s time in Toronto:

For six and a half years, much of Canada’s young talent watched an fell in love with a flamboyant, human highlight film named Vince Carter. He inspired them nightly while playing for the home team Raptors. I think Vince’s presence in our country shouldn’t be underestimated. His charisma was incredibly powerful in attracting a Canadian audience to the game of basketball for a memorable period of time. More and more kids play basketball every year in Canada, and I think the NBA’s arrival played a pivotal role in the game’s growth.

It’s easy to forget now that Toronto is an established NBA city, but the league’s survival in Canada was no guarantee. After all, the Vancouver Grizzlies only lasted six seasons before being moved to Memphis, in large part because they never had a transcendent superstar like Vince Carter. He was the perfect ambassador for the game, spreading the gospel of basketball into parts of the world it had never really penetrated before.

In the last 15 years, no one has topped what Carter did in the 1999 dunk contest. Basketball is played in the air in a way the other major sports are not and no player has ever pushed the limits of aerial artistry and creativity more than “Vinsanity”. When Canadian kids watched him, they saw him do things that could never happen in a sport like hockey. Everytime Andrew Wiggins dunks on someone, a part of Vince Carter lives on.

Lamar Odom's Complicated Legacy

With the season underway and Lamar Odom nowhere near a roster, his NBA career appears all but over. Even without his numerous off-court issues, at 34 and more than two years removed from being an effective player, Odom would have been in an uphill battle to get back in the league. If this is it, he leaves behind a complicated legacy in the sport. However, the player he could have been shouldn’t detract from the incredible player that he was.

Talent was never the issue for Odom. At 6’10 235 with a 7’4 wingspan, he had the length of a center and the quickness of a small forward. He was the prototype for a new generation of big men, more comfortable on the perimeter than the low block, but what made him special was his feel for the game. Not only could he handle and pass like a guard, he could control tempo and create shots for anyone on the floor. There really wasn’t much he couldn’t do on a basketball court.

Odom first came on NBA radar screens as a high schooler in New York City, a 6’9 point guard who led his team to a state title. Like many in the city’s AAU scene, his recruiting got a little messy, a pattern that would follow him through the rest of his career. He committed to UNLV before eventually winding up at Rhode Island, where he had to sit out a year. In his only season in college, he averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and 1.5 blocks on 48 percent shooting.

His game instantly translated to the next level. As a 20-year-old rookie with the Los Angeles Clippers, Odom averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists on 44 percent shooting. Those Clippers were a great what-if team, eventually featuring Odom, Elton Brand, Andre Miller and Quentin Richardson. In 2003, they allowed Odom to sign as a restricted free agent with the Miami Heat, where he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Caron Butler to reach the second round of the playoffs.

He really started to come into his own with the Los Angeles Lakers, who picked him up as part of the Shaquille O'Neal trade. Odom averaged the first double-double (15 and 10) of his career in 2005; he was more efficient on offense and more reliable on defense. Nevertheless, there wasn’t enough talent around him and Kobe Bryant to contend. With Odom as their second-best player, the Lakers lost first-round series to the Phoenix Suns in 2006 and 2007.

Everything changed in 2008, when they stunned the NBA with a mid-season trade for Pau Gasol. All of a sudden, with Odom as their third-best player and second-best big man, the Lakers couldn’t be stopped. With the offense running through Gasol and Kobe, Odom no longer had to look for his own shot. He was the ultimate glue guy, a 6’10 jack-of-all-trades who could pass, rebound and defend at an extremely high level. His 14 points per game were a bonus.

Gasol/Odom was a legitimately great frontcourt combination. At 7’0 265 with a 7’5 wingspan, Gasol could anchor the defense and free up Odom to defend on the perimeter. On offense, he could step out to 18 feet and finish at the rim, the perfect dump-off whenever Odom beat his man off the dribble. They were two extremely long big men who knew how to play off each other -- Vlade Divac and Chris Webber, except with defense. It was beautiful basketball.

Odom was an integral part of one of the greatest teams in NBA history. In their first three seasons together, the Kobe/Gasol/Odom Lakers went 11-1 in playoff series, with their only loss coming to a Boston Celtics team with three future Hall of Famers. From 2008-2010, they averaged 60 wins a season and went 36-13 in Western Conference playoff games. For all the hype the LeBron/Wade/Bosh Heat have received, those Lakers were every bit their equal.

Unfortunately, their legacy has been affected by how quickly things fell apart. After three straight trips to the Finals, they were swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. The ensuing six-month lockout ended any chance of the team being kept together. The Lakers tried to package Gasol and Odom into a trade for Chris Paul, a deal ultimately vetoed by David Stern. Odom demanded a trade afterwards, which Los Angeles was only too happy to oblige.

In hindsight, the Lakers were clearly selling high on Odom. He was the 2011 version of Shawn Kemp, never the same player after letting his conditioning slip during the lockout. And with Dirk Nowitzki entrenched at the power forward position in Dallas, Odom’s inconsistent jumper was exposed upon leaving the Lakers. At 32, it caught up to him all at once. A year after winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award, Odom was a shell of himself, posting a miserable 9.4 PER.

If Odom had stayed in excellent condition and improved his jumper, he could have been an excellent player well into his late thirties. Of course, if he had consistently done those things over the course of his career, he would have been a Hall of Famer. Only the best of the best can stick around much longer than Odom’s 14 seasons in the NBA. He has more than 12,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists, 800 steals and 800 blocks on his resume.

I’ve never met Odom and I don’t know him personally, so I’m hesitant to say all that much about everything that has happened to him off the court. As a fan of the game, all I can really go on is what he did on the court, where he was one of the most unselfish and intelligent players I’ve ever seen. Lamar Odom was the ultimate teammate who played the game the right way. Forget the controversies, the Kardashians and even the championships, that’s how I’ll remember him.

Top-60 Players In NBA Today (Considering Everything)

The goal here is look at overall long-term value of players by considering age, contract, positional scarcity and of course overall quality, without factors like a player’s connection with a franchise or fit within a specific system.

2013-14 NBA Season Preview

While the Western Conference has six teams (Clippers, Thunder, Rockets, Grizzlies, Warriors) in its first tier, the Eastern Conference is a tier of one (Heat) with the Bulls, Pacers and Nets vying for the second tier.

Important Years For Dirk, Aldridge, Love

Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are too good to be annually missing the playoffs. Of course, even if they make the playoffs, there is no guarantee that the Wolves, Blazers and Mavs keep their franchise player. If any of them move to the right team, the balance of power could shift.

The Bargain Bin's Best

The days of the $6 million per year role player may be all but over. Mo Williams, Mike Miller, Beno Udrih and Wayne Ellington are at the forefront of the new market inefficiency in the NBA -- veteran role players from the free agency bargain bin.

Learning From The Mavericks

Smaller market teams need to follow the lead of the Rockets and make sure to build assets leading up to a crest at a time they have space so that they have a strong enough sales pitch to become a legitimate candidate for the "yes" rather than one of the last teams to hear a "no", which was the err by the Mavericks.

The Misses Of The 2010 NBA Draft

There are seven first-round picks from 2010 not currently on an NBA roster (Aldrich, Henry, Babbitt, Brackins, Elliott Williams, Damion James, Dominique Jones, Lazar Hayward). At this point in free agency, all would be happy to play for the minimum.

The NBA's Mediocrity Treadmill Since 84-85

The treadmill is somehow both more and less common than some might think. While teams tend to fall within the 30-49 win range, as would be expected in such a competitive league, the dreaded never-ending stream of late lottery picks is uncommon.

2013 NBA Mock Draft (Final Edition)

Draft day has finally arrived and while everyone pines for the 2014 class already, this one has the chance to be sneaky good in the 'many quality starters' variety.

2013 NBA Mock Draft (Wednesday/Quality Of Opp. Edition)

In this mock, we include the PER of each player based on the quality of opponent. Even statistics in this context can only go so far, but helps move beyond the possibility of inflation against competition that isn't even close to being NBA caliber.

Choosing Destinations For The 2013 Free Agency Class

The 2013 free agency class won't stop everything the way 2010 did and 2014 will, but it is strong and deep with many different possible outcomes. Here is what the top-30 players 'should' do.

2013 NBA Mock Draft (Draft Week Edition)

Entering draft week in a draft universally labeled as weak preceding the best draft of the decade, few people are talking themselves into falling in love with any specific player as fervently as usual.

2013 NBA Draft Board

Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Otto Porter and Alex Len join Nerlens Noel at the top of our draft board.

The Eliminated (Western Conference Teams)

Two playoff teams from a season ago (Mavericks, Jazz) joined repeat lottery clubs such as the Suns, Hornets/Pelicans, Blazers, Wolves and Kings.

Aging Off The Cliff

There was only so long Mavericks and Suns could paper over their inability to find and develop young talent. This season, those chickens have come home to roost. With the importance of the draft magnified by the new CBA, both teams have to turn some draft picks into home runs.

Big Men Injuries

We may have reached the natural end-point in terms of how big someone can be and stay healthy over the course of an 82-game NBA season. Bynum and Howard will be unrestricted free agents this summer, while Oden will be looking to make a comeback. In choosing a team, their first priority has to be choosing a franchise with a world-class medical staff.

Bernard James: From Active Military Duty To The NBA

Bernard James recently spoke with RealGM over the phone to discuss the battles he faced on his way to becoming a rookie in the NBA with the Mavericks and what his future holds going forward.

Realizing The Complete Value Of Tyson Chandler

Without Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki never gets his ring. Without him dominating the paint on both sides of the ball, “Linsanity” never happens. And if he had stayed in Dallas, Carmelo Anthony would be battling the tabloids on a .500 team, not competing for an MVP award on a contender.

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