The Price of the Second Pick

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In Wednesday’s paper, I columnize about the Cavaliers’ reported attempt to acquire the second pick in the draft. (They already have the first.) According to ESPN The Magazine, they’re willing to give the Timberwolves the fourth and eighth picks for it (provided they can strike a deal with the Pistons for the No. 8 selection).

If the deal comes off, it would be the fourth time in the last decade the second pick has been traded. Here are the details of those trades (and others in recent years involving the No. 2 pick):

● 2006 – At the risk of oversimplification, the Knicks sent it to the Bulls for F-C Eddie Curry. Who the Bulls took at No. 2: F LaMarcus Aldridge. (They then shipped Aldridge, along with a 2007 second-rounder, to the Trail Blazers for Fs Tyrus Thomas – who was the fourth pick – and Viktor Khryapa.)

● 2004 – The Clippers sent it to the Bobcats for the fourth pick (G Shaun Livingston), the 33rd (G Lionel Chalmers) and – I love this provision – the promise, in the expansion draft, to relieve them of C Predrag Drobnjak. Who the Bobcats took at No. 2: C-F Emeka Okafor.

● 2003 – The Grizzlies sent it to the Pistons for F Otis Thorpe. Who the Pistons took at No. 2: F-C Darko Milicic.

● 2001 – The Clippers sent C Tyson Chandler, who they’d already drafted No. 2, to the Bulls for F Elton Brand. (F Brian Skinner also went to Chicago.)

● 1995 – The Clippers sent F-C Antonio McDyess, who they’d already drafted No. 2, to the Nuggets for G Brent Barry and F Rodney Rogers. (G Randy Woods also went to Denver.)

● 1990 – The Sonics sent it to the Warriors for a first-round pick in ’89 (G Dana Barros, the 16th selection). Six weeks later, the Warriors traded the No. 2 pick back to them in exchange for C Alton Lister. Good thing, too, because the Sonics wound up drafting Gary Payton.

● 1986 – The Sonics sent it to the Celtics for G Gerald Henderson. Who the Celtics took at No. 2: F Len Bias, the late, great Maryland star. (It still breaks your heart think about it. In fact, it’ll always break your heart.)

● 1984 – The Pacers sent it to the Blazers for C Tom Owens. Who the Blazers took at No. 2: C-F Sam Bowie.

● 1977/78 – The Nets sent two first-rounders – both of which turned out to be the second pick – to the Kings for G Nate Archibald. (The Kings also got a couple of players.) Who the Kings took at No. 2: Gs Otis Birdsong (’77) and Phil Ford (’78).

How does the Cavaliers’ prospective deal compare to these? Well, it depends on what kind of careers the second, fourth and eighth picks have. But the price could be pretty steep.


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About the Author
Dan Daly

Dan Daly

Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of "The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at

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