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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.

Trade Interest Left Kenneth Faried Feeling Coveted And Unsurprised

As teams around the NBA examined his availability, Kenneth Faried looked past the Denver Nuggets and into the swath of intrigued franchises that had gone revealing information of potential discussions in a desperate attempt. Reading about interested parties within the league inspired him, but only to the extent of privately reaffirming that welcoming organizations existed outside Denver.

Faried had grasped his talent and the outline of his potential in his growth a season ago, and a memorable 40-point, 10-rebound MVP performance in the Rising Stars game earned him praise from peers and a retired legend, Shaquille O’Neal. Wisely and inevitably, the Nuggets kept him beyond the trade deadline.

Through most of the season, Faried’s adjustments lurched: a gradual process under new head coach Brian Shaw, reduced minutes, the Nuggets’ commitment to him unclear and an apparent roadblock in his development as a franchise’s core piece. Earlier in the season, Faried had declined to comment on supposed deals. For once, a trading season served a player fresh reasons to feel desired again.

“I’m not surprised at all that my name was in trade situations, because I am a good player and people do want me,” Faried told RealGM. “It just makes me that much more aware of how many other teams want me and like me.”

How close Denver management ever came to consummating a deal is uncertain, and every round of speculation surrounding Faried had presented like a hopeless plea on the outside. His youth (24 years old) and blend of athleticism and ferocious knack for the ball make him a self-starter.

For the Nuggets, a potential trade for Iman Shumpert never made sense, and yet the New York Knicks continued trying and trying. Perhaps several other teams pleaded, too, untraced and unearthed.

Nevertheless, it’s led to the best stretch of Faried’s season, a reinvigorated month with three of his total five 20-point games. Ty Lawson has always carried the bulk of responsibilities on these Nuggets since the trade of Carmelo Anthony, and even Faried settled to take a backseat and conceded ownership of the locker room, of shots and pressure, to the 5-foot-11 point guard.

Not until Lawson’s recent rib injury was Faried challenged by family members to increase his production, to emit positivity teammates can gravitate toward. Not until now was Faried able to scan the roster and understand: This team is as much mine as it is Lawson’s, and maybe, just maybe I’m capable of solely leading a supporting cast. This isn’t a selfish, me-me-me conduct in mind, but a healthy, aspiring goal on a team absent of an absolute star.

“I feel like this is my team right now, at least maybe until Ty gets back, and even past then,” Faried told RealGM. “I feel like this is my team and I have to do whatever to help us win games. For me, I know I had to step into the role of taking over the team and putting the team on my back. I got to step up. The trade deadline came and went.

“Right now with all the injuries, the coaches are searching. I’m trying to be that guy they can stop searching and stop looking for.”

Under George Karl, the frenetic pace perfectly suited Faried, the high frequency of shooting allowing more rebounding chances. He’s been running and running like the best of end-to-end rim runners since his days at Morehead State. So Faried entered last summer focusing on his jump shot, and as he says now of his stroke: “My jumper is still a work in progress. No matter what, I could always improve on it, and right now I’m trying to work on getting the ball in the post. So when I do decide to face up and shoot my jumper, it will go down because I’m shooting with confidence.”

From adapting to new coaches to trade whispers, the most perplexing aspect of Faried’s season centers on his lessened minutes. Across this season, he’s averaged the least amount of fouls per game for his career, a testament to elevated discipline clearing the way for enhanced minutes for a big man. Or so Faried expected.

“I thought because of me not fouling as much I would maybe get more minutes,” Faried said. “I’m solidified as one of the guys who plays defense a certain way. Refs let me get away with a lot – more than they did my first two years. I thought I’d have more minutes, but you have your ups and downs. With a new coaching staff, I anticipated they may not know or they want to find their own way of coaching. New coaching staff, so they have to find your niche and find your role.”

The Nuggets unmistakably still have faith in Faried, whom they’d drafted as an unpolished forward in 2011, who nurtured into one of the NBA’s most active, tireless athletes. Faried had been Masai Ujiri’s selection, a steal plucked out of the back-end of the first round, when he experienced desire in a climate of oversight. Now, they’re all after Kenneth Faried with a lust even he detects.

Five Second-Year Breakout Candidates

For players drafted outside of the lottery, cracking the rotation as a rookie is an uphill battle. The teams that drafted them have higher expectations and more or less set rotations. If there is an open spot, most coaches would rather go with a veteran than a rookie. They don’t have time to let a young player grow through his mistakes, especially on the defensive end. If they can’t fill a role on the team right away, they aren’t going to play.

Year 2 is where that starts to change. With a full season and offseason under their belt, second-year players are more comfortable with the professional game, on and off the court. Things start to slow down, allowing them to showcase the skills that got them drafted in the first place.

Last year, I had Jimmy Butler, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Alec Burks and Jordan Hamilton on my list of breakout second-year players. I think this year’s group could be even better. The 2012 draft was stronger than 2011 due to the number of players who stayed in school an extra year because of the lockout. Here’s five second-year players, none of whom were drafted in the lottery, who I think could make a name for themselves in 2014:

- Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

If we’re comparing guys by their high school class, another interesting one is Jones and Tristan Thompson, two athletic 6’9 240+ power forwards from the class of 2010. Thompson declared after one season at Texas while Jones opted to return to Kentucky. The Wildcats went 38-2 and won a national title, but playing with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist depressed his stats. Jones would have been a lottery pick in 2011 but slipped to No. 17 in 2012.

Jones has all of Thompson’s physical tools and is a more dynamic player with the ball in his hands. While he didn’t get many minutes as a rookie in Houston, he more than held his own with a 17.6 PER. Jones can put the ball on the floor, finish at the rim, match up with multiple positions and impact the game as a rebounder and shot-blocker. His inconsistent jumper could be a problem in the Rockets system, but if he gets minutes, he will produce.

- Jeffery Taylor, Charlotte Bobcats

Taylor will never be a star, but he has the tools for a 10-year career in the NBA. At 6’7 225, he’s a shooter with the size and athleticism to match up with multiple positions. As long as he makes three-pointers (34 percent as a rookie), he will have a place in the league. Unlike most shooters, he also has the ability to attack a close-out and be a secondary option in the offense. As a senior at Vanderbilt, Taylor averaged 16 points a game on 49 percent shooting.

He had a strong offseason, playing well as the lead option for the Bobcats summer league team and the Swedish national team at EuroBasket. The international experience, in particular, could be very helpful, allowing him to work on his game and improve his confidence against high-level competition. The presence of Al Jefferson should make a difference as well, since Charlotte had no one last season who could demand a double team in the post.

- Will Barton, Portland Trail Blazers

Like many young shooting guards, Barton is prone to bursts of wildness and occasional delusions of grandeur. Nevertheless, he has far more talent than a typical second-round pick and he could end up playing a big role for Portland this season. At 6’6 175 with a 6’10 wingspan, he has an intriguing combination of length and quickness. As a sophomore at Memphis, he averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists a game on 51 percent shooting.

The Trail Blazers have a roster full of shooters, but not many guys who can get into the lane. With the ball in his hands, Barton is a dynamic player who can make plays off the dribble, finish at the rim and find the open man. The injury to CJ McCollum opens up some possible playing time for Barton as a second-unit shooting guard. If he can play enough defense to stay on the floor, his slashing ability could be a nice complement to Damian Lillard and Mo Williams.

- Perry Jones III, Oklahoma City Thunder

If you go strictly by the eye test, you would think Jones was a lottery pick. In general, 6’11 235 players just aren’t supposed to move as well as he does. He’s every bit the athlete that Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka are; he has the length and quickness to slide between all three frontcourt positions in the NBA. After biding his time in the D-League as a rookie, there is room for him to carve out a role behind Durant as a backup small forward this season.

Coming out of Baylor, the big knock on Jones was his passivity on the offensive end. However, in a more limited role in the NBA, his ability to shoot from the perimeter and finish on the pick-and-roll will make him a valuable weapon. On the defensive end, the sheer amount of length the Thunder can put on the floor with the combination of Ibaka, Durant and Jones is intriguing. Like most young big men, the key with Jones will be patience.

- Quincy Miller, Denver Nuggets

As someone who covered the 2011 Baylor team for SB Nation Dallas, I have a soft spot for Jones and Miller. Those guys were just not put in a position to succeed by Scott Drew, who really should have apologized for costing them so much money. Miller, like Jones, has a ton of talent. He’s a 6’9 210 forward with a 7’1 wingspan and the ball-handling and shooting ability of a guard. Miller is still only 20 years old; he would be  a junior in college this season.

He didn’t play much as a rookie, but he could benefit from a regime change in Denver. Over the summer, Brian Shaw compared him to Paul George, whom he coached as an assistant in Indiana. That is ambitious, but I don’t think it’s insane either. Before tearing his ACL as a senior, Miller was considered one of the top 2-3 players in his class. If the Nuggets struggle, Shaw will probably turn to him at some point, just to see if he can provide a spark.

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