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Here’s Why There Are Only 58 Picks in This Year’s NBA Draft

This year’s NBA draft, which takes place on Thursday, June 23, will only showcase 58 picks instead of the typical 60.

Two teams, the Bucks and the Heat, lost a second-round pick each for this year’s draft due to tampering violations. These picks came in at No. 54 and 55, and will be skipped on Thursday night.

Milwaukee forfeited its second round pick after the team attempted to sign-and-trade Bogdan Bogdanovic in Nov. 2020. The Bucks were found to have conversations with the former Kings guard and/or his representation before his free agency began. This violates the NBA’s rules. Bogdanovic ended up signing with the Hawks instead.

A similar situation occurred with the Heat when they were going through their sign-and-trade with Kyle Lowry in Aug. 2021. The NBA investigated the signing of the former Raptors guard after the Heat announced Lowry’s details of his signing minutes after the free agency period opened. The investigation found that Miami completed a premature contract with the guard’s representation.

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This is the first NBA draft with less than 60 picks since 2004 when there were 59 picks due to the Timberwolves having an illegal contract with Joe Smith.

It’s even possible that the 2023 NBA draft will include less picks, too. During the NBA’s investigation of Lowry and the Heat, the league looked into the Bulls’ sign-and-trade with former Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball. The situation was similar to the Heat’s in which Ball’s contract was completed prematurely. The Bulls were charged with tampering violations as well.

However, the Bulls do not have a 2022 second-round pick to forfeit. The team does not have a second-round pick until ’26, unless Chicago picks up one of the Nuggets’ second-round picks for next year. The team’s forfeit could take place in ’23, then.

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