In a piece by Kirk Goldsberry on ESPN, he writes how the NBA has splintered into a select number of teams that can build via the draft, free agency and trades, and those that really can only use the draft to build a competitive team.
"Draft picks have never been more meaningful in origin markets and never never meant less in the destination markets," wrote Goldsberry. "As a result, the precious few teams that can reliably retain top talent are emptying their cupboards to extract unhappy superstars in mega-trades."
The split has created an environment in which teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets have each traded away nearly entire control of their draft over a seven-year period in exchange for one of the league's superstars. Those deals have widely been lauded for both the teams receiving the superstar and the team trading them away. For destination market teams, the draft has been devalued while it has never been more critical for the teams who don't have the option of free agency or trades to acquire a superstar.
"It's really starting to feel like, depending on the nature of your market, you only have access to one, two or three of those legs," said Goldsberry on The Lowe Post.