Last week's flurry of deals before the trading deadline followed
a trend that dates back to the 1995-96 season, when the latest
collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players
went into effect. As part of the deal, the league imposed a wage
scale on all draft picks and, in return, granted unrestricted
free agency after three years. The move was intended to give
teams a chance to measure the development of their young stars
before committing to them long term. But many teams, fearful of
not being able to re-sign these players, have had to make
sweeping personnel moves related to the impending free agency of
the class of '95. Here are some revealing numbers. --Marty
Burns

47
Players dealt on the day of the three trading deadlines since
February 1996.

13
Players dealt on the day of the three trading deadlines before
February 1996.

72.4
Percentage of class of '95 first-round picks (21 of 29) who are
no longer with the teams that drafted them.

55.6
Percentage of class of '94 first-round picks (15 of 27) who
three years later were no longer with the team that drafted them.

3
Lottery picks from the class of '95--Kevin Garnett, Rasheed
Wallace and Bryant Reeves--who signed contract extensions last
summer, when they were first eligible to do so.

15
Average annual salary, in millions of dollars, given to those
three second-year men, who all signed six-year deals to become
the highest-paid players on their teams.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)