Some quick, admittedly half-baked thoughts on getting more draft picks:
- We've talked a lot about using the BOYD strategy (definition here) to potentially get another lottery pick, but we haven't talked much about a much cheaper alternative: buying a later pick. I'm getting more and more worried that it'll require taking on a massive salary to get a lottery pick (i.e. a Peja Stojakovic, Andrei Kirilenko or Troy Murphy, all of whom make over $12 million next year), and while I'm happy Ted Leonsis seems open to something like that, it might not be wise to use all our BOYD powder right away. We lose the ability to do similar kinds of moves with our cap space during the season, when more teams could be in salary-cap peril.
- Why might a later pick be a better option besides it being cheaper? For one, this draft is pretty even in talent, so the difference between 11 and 29, for example, probably isn't worth $16 million for one year. For another, I believe will be a lot of mid- to late-first round picks being sold because teams would rather have the smaller, non-guaranteed salaries the second rounders bring.
- Who might be selling? My educated guesses: Miami at 18 (to get more cap space and/or dump James Jones), Oklahoma City at 21 and 26 (to get more cap space, don't need more rookies), Minnesota at 23 (doubt they use all three of their picks), Atlanta at 24 (to save money for Joe Johnson), Memphis at 25 and 28 (again, doubt they use all three of their first-rounders) and Orlando at 29. I'd take some of those picks for $3 million cash, absolutely.
- Why is the asking price for second-rounders going up? For more teams, the high second-rounder (for example, the 35th pick we have) is worth more than the low first-rounder (for example, the 30th pick) because the second-rounder brings in a first-round talent without having the guaranteed salary come with it. The lack of a guaranteed salary is huge for teams who are struggling financially.
- But there's an obvious corollary to the point above: the asking price for those late first-rounders could be going down, if we assume that drafting someone with a guaranteed salary may not be a good thing for many teams. However ...
- The guaranteed salary issue doesn't really matter as much to the Wizards because they only have six players under contract and have a ton of cap space they probably won't use. This means that we can probably snatch up a late first-round pick for less than usual.
So I guess the long and short of this is that I'm warming up to the idea of buying a late first-round pick instead of taking on Peja Stojakovic's contract (for example) to get a late lottery pick. It seems doable and allows us to keep the BOYD option open for the entire summer and 2010/11 season.