Atlanta's #6 and #17 Picks Are Worth More Than #2

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Atlanta's two picks are worth slightly more than the Clippers' #2 overall pick if the rookie scale contracts are an indication of value (which they can be considered to be since they are the result of a collective bargaining agreement). That means the Clippers should be willing to trade with Atlanta. However, the Hawks have competition: Utah's three draft picks together are worth even more.

The rookie scale contract is intended to maximize the amount of money a team can spend on their top selection. Because it is the product of a collective bargaining agreement with the player's association, the rookie salaries are also some indication of the expected value of the contribution of the player. The #1 overall pick will earn nearly $3.5 million his first year; the #29 overall pick will earn only $700,000. If a team has multiple draft picks, we can add the combined salaries to see where the "equivalent" draft pick would be, as implied by the rookie scale contract. By this measure, Atlanta's two picks are worth about the same as the Clippers' #2 overall pick.

It is easy to do the math. Only three teams have multiple draft picks in the first round this year: Atlanta, Boston, and Utah. Atlanta's picks are the sixth and seventeenth. The sixth pick gets a rookie scale contract of $2,075,300, while the seventeenth gets $1,058,400. That means that the total value according rookie scale contract set by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) of Atlanta's picks is $3,133,700.

The #2 pick has a rookie scale contract of $3,116,400, or about $17,300 less. For all intents and purposes, they are equal. Hence, at least by this measure, an Atlanta-Clippers swap of first round draft picks appears to be perfectly even, with a negligible edge to the Clippers.

Utah and Boston each have three draft picks. Boston's total contract value puts them at about the fourth overall draft pick in equivalency, while Utah's total value is $3,233,500, still short of the #1 but even greater than Atlanta's picks.

Would Utah give up three picks to move up to the Clippers' #2 spot?

Could the Hawks have some competition for the presumed draft rights to Dwight Howard?

The Hawks Basketball Camp is right around the corner. It is for boys and girls aged 8-17 and will be held July 19-23 at Philips Arena. Click herefor more details.


The Orlando Sentinelwrites: Last summer the Atlanta Hawks acquired injured Minnesota Timberwolves guard Terrell Brandon for salary-cap purposes.Brandon realized he'd have to retire after a serious knee injury. He had $11 million left on his contract, but it came off the Hawks' cap in February, giving Atlanta more money to use in free agency and trades. By dumping Brandon's contract, the Timberwolves cleared enough space to make a four-team trade and sign Latrell Sprewell. "It excites me that teams still want me and are willing to take a risk," [Orlando's Grant] Hill said. "The bottom line is that I want to play and I want to play here."

Charley Walters ofThe Twin Cities Pioneer Presswrites: Word is [Randy] Wittman, a Wolves assistant, remains a strong candidate for the Atlanta Hawks' head coaching job, and also might be interviewed by the Toronto Raptors.

John Denton ofFlorida Todaywrites: The Magic are also looking to parlay their two second-round draft picks -- they own the Nos. 30 and 36 selections -- into a second first-round pick. Atlanta, Boston and Utah hold multiple first-round picks and might be potential trade partners with the Magic.Second-round picks are of great value to teams because the players drafted aren't guaranteed three-year contracts.