Building through the draft is the most common way to get an NBA All-Star, according to research by HoopsHype.
The draft is how the Warriors ended up with a core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the NBA this offseason, it’s this: enough draft picks can get you in the conversation to put almost any player in a trade.
New York’s reluctance to hand over too many unprotected first-round picks is the reason why Donovan Mitchell is in the Cavs and not the Knicks. It’s also the main reason Spurs were willing to transfer Dejounte Murray.
Draft picks are at a premium among NBA boards, especially as there are some young teams (e.g. Pelicans, Thunder, Jazz, Spurs) that have prioritized earning as much draft capital as possible.
Below you can find a list of the teams with the most and least amount of picks to their name. Some picks may not broadcast in the year they are listed due to protections. Others cannot be traded due to Stepien’s Rule.
However, the next time a disgruntled star demands a trade, use that as a resource to determine which teams can participate to make a best man offer – and which teams might be pressured to do the same because they simply don’t have the asset.
Please note that we will continue to update this post as more trades are made throughout the season.