For one, most of the teams offering first rounders as compensation won’t be picking in the lottery any time soon. That’s what happened in October when Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey offered the ‘Wolves four consecutive 1st Rounders spread over seven years, a proposal they ultimately refused. Again, there was little certainty the Rockets’ picks yield any value, so long as James Harden figured in their longterm plans.
But a few of the NBA franchises rumored to be dangling 1st Round Picks are doing so, not to win right now, but in a persuasive effort to keep a wantaway player happy. Look no further than Anthony Davis and his precarious situation with a rudderless Pelicans’ franchise: a well-coached team, with insurmountable challenges, due to financial reasons beyond their control. This just goes to show you, GMs are willing to leverage a 1st in the modern NBA because it’s the players who run the asylum, not the coaches, and especially not the GMs. Jimmy Butler’s pending free-agency is kind of a mood-killer when the Sixers aren’t winning in spades.