Barry Gossage/NBAE

Update on Minnesota Pick Owed to Suns

The phrase "potentially four first-round picks" was repeated often heading toward the 2014 offseason.

So what happened to the fourth one? We've already established that Phoenix will pick at 14 (own pick), 18 (Washington's) and 27 (Indiana's). Where did Minnesota's first-rounder – obtained in a 2012 trade for Wesley Johnson – walk off to?
Ideally, just a year further down the road.

The Timberwolves' pick was top-13 protected in 2014, meaning that Minnesota would keep it if it fell among the first 13 selections in the draft.The pick did just that, if only barely (the Timberwolves will pick 13th).

That does not mean the Suns are simply out of luck. The odds of Phoenix landing that pick are simply forwarded to next summer and (if necessary) the 2016 offseason as well. The Timberwolves pick is top-12 protected in both those scenarios.

If Minnesota still lucks into keeping their draft pick in 2015 and 2016, Phoenix will then be awarded a pair of second-round picks for their patience.

Don't forget

In addition to their own pick and (potentially) the Timberwolves', the Suns also possess the L.A. Lakers' draft selection in 2015 (from the Steve Nash trade in 2012).

That pick, however, is top-five protected. If the Lakers land one, two, three, four or five in the draft lottery next summer, they will keep their selection. If not, it is awarded to Phoenix.