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With Weak Draft Incoming, Now Might Be Time To Move 2024 Picks

NBA teams should be more open-minded to moving 2024 draft selections due to the possible poor quality of the upcoming draft.

As the NBA trade deadline looms larger and larger, and as we learn more and more about the players headlining the 2024 NBA Draft, one question seems inescapable:

Is now the time to use 2024 picks as currency to fix roster issues?

Look, we could beat around the bush all day to be polite, but the 2024 draft class looks, well, fairly bleak. There's certainly not an obvious superstar at the top of it, and while the future could unveil some great talents, teams have to go off the intel they have in hand.

Right now, that intel heavily suggests that the quality of the players presumed to get selected in June is questionable.

As such, now might be the best time to dangle 2024 selections to sweeten a trade offer, in order to get your guy.

Obviously, the perception of the draft class will also reflect what a team can get in return of such a pick, which is why using them primarily as added value might make the most sense.

Take the Spurs for an example. This is a team that should be absolutely desperate for a proper point guard. They're currently projected to select seconde and seventh, the latter courtesy of the Toronto Raptors.

Frankly, there isn't a lot of excitement even at the top of the draft, making at least their latter selection interesting trade purpose-wise.

If the Spurs identified a young point guard who is attainable, but the price point came in at a player contract, and the Toronto pick, that would in previous years have been a no-go unless said point guard had been Tyrese Haliburton or someone along those lines.

This year, it's at least worth considering how firm a grip teams like the Spurs should hold their picks in, particularly if they were offered known talent in return.

(Unfortunately for the Spurs, my favorite target for them - Immanuel Quickley - was just sent to Toronto, which has limited the availability of good young guards with upside.)

Generally speaking, it wouldn't shock me to see the trade deadline include more 2024 selections than originally anticipated. This projects as a rough draft to have high picks in, as several players have so far failed to stand out.

The counter to my argument, of course, is a reasonable one: Why not hold off on flipping picks until more intel on players has been gathered, and then make an educated decision before the actual draft?

For teams that are rebuilding, and thus in no rush to get in quality right this minute, that should indeed be the strategy.

For teams that are trying to win now, and for the Spurs specifically that have a gaping hole at a position that would help Victor Wembanyama's development, probably not.

Plus, the thought of minimizing risk is always attractive to teams. If the overwhelming thought is that a surrendered selection won't turn into a star, it's quite simply easier to pull the trigger on an immediate upgrade.

Or perhaps there's another way to slice this, through the perspective of pick protection.

Let's go back to San Antonio's immediate need for a table setter, and let's assume Tyus Jones from the Washington Wizards becomes available.

Where the Spurs might have lottery-protected a pick before, they could lower protections somewhat drastically, knowing there's little risk in relinquishing a future star.

Would the Wizards accept a flipped protection proposal where pick protection grows more aggressive as the years pass?

Usually, the longer a receiving team waits on a draft pick to convey, the looser that protection becomes.

With a weak draft coming up, the Spurs could make the 2024 selection top 10 protected, only to increase to top 20 in 2025, when the draft class is considered much stronger.

For the Wizards, it's just about getting in assets with team control, and if they have to wait a year to get such an asset, that's likely not a problem as that will create a steady stream of incoming picks.

A top 10 protection for Jones might sound lax, but if the 2024 class is as weak as projected, value could surprisingly align.

Overall, teams should be considering the possibility of having an open mind to moving their 2024 selection, be that for an immediate upgrade, trading up, or trading for a pick down the line.

Unless noted otherwise, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball-Reference. All salary information via Spotrac. All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

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