Future Draft Pick Breakdown

Due to all the wheeling and dealing going on in Minnesota's basketball operations department, we put together a streamlined breakdown of future first- and second-round picks for the Wolves in 2009 and 2010.

The latest addition to a slew of first-rounders came Wednesday when Minnesota picked up Utah's 2009 first-round pick (from Philadelphia), which could end up being one of four potential first-round selections next year. Alas, here's the synopsis:

Editor's Note - Updated July 10:
We modified the Utah first-round and Philly second-round pick explanations so they read more clearly, and added the 2010 second-round pick Minnesota received from Houston in the Gerald Green trade. Thanks to the rubes for pointing out that indefensible omission. My bad!

Wolves 2009 Draft Picks
First Round:
- Wolves Pick (protected Top 10) to the Clippers
- Miami's Pick (protected Top 10)
- Boston's Pick (protected Top 3)
- Utah's Pick (protected Top 22)*
*See below for clarification.

Second Round:
- Wolves Pick goes to Detroit - Ronald Dupree trade
- Miami's Picks (2) - Minnesota gets the two higher (worse) of Miami's three second-round selections

Wolves 2010 Draft Picks
First Round:
- Wolves Pick (Protected Top 10) to the Clippers
- Miami's Pick (protected Top 6)
- Boston's Pick (Protected Top 2)
- Utah's Pick (protected Top 15)

Second Round:
- Wolves Pick (protected top 55-60) - Goes to Philadelphia if Minnesota finishes among the league's top five or six teams.
This means that Philly gets the pick if it's between numbers 55-60, otherwise the Wolves keep it.

- Houston's Pick (from the Gerald Green trade)

*The Utah Pick
Contrary to varying reports, the first-round pick Minnesota receives from Philly through Utah does not involve the New York Knicks. For the Wolves, the pick is protected in this manner: 2009 (22); 2010 (15); 2011 (17); 2012 (16); 2013 (16). If in the very unlikely case Utah struggles mightily for five years, Minnesota receives a second-round selection and significant cash considerations.

Wolves Have Another No. 1
- Minnesota also has the rights to a second No. 1 pick from Boston, a pick that was originally its own pick traded in the Wally Szczerbiak/Ricky Davis deal. This pick will take affect after the Wolves' pick is resolved with the L.A. Clippers, and will come two years after the pick to the Clippers is granted. The reason here is that NBA teams cannot trade consecutive first-round picks.

What It All Means
Bottom line: Minnesota could have as many as four or as few as zero picks in 2009, while the 2010 pick situation depends almost entirely upon what happens in the 2009 draft.

For Minnesota to get all four first-round picks in 2009, the protection circumstances must go through in each case: Minnesota finishes in the league's bottom 10 teams; Miami finishes outside of the league's bottom 10 teams; Boston finishes outside of the league's bottom three teams; Utah finishes among the league's top eight teams. For Minnesota to get no picks, the exact opposite would need to happen.

Protected Pick Explanation: If you're not familiar with the nuances of a "protected" pick, that designation signifies that a team will not have to forego its traded draft pick if it does not finish at a certain spot in the regular season standings. In other words, protected picks are a safeguard for a team that does worse than it expected.

Example: When the Heat made that trade (Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien and a (protected) first-round pick for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount) they included the condition that they could keep their pick if it were in the top 14 in 2008 (Michael Beasley, No. 2), top 10 in 2009, top 6 in 2010 and unprotected in 2011. But the sooner Miami is good, the sooner Minnesota gets its pick. If Minnesota gets Miami's pick in 2009 (meaning the Heat finish outside of the league's bottom 10 teams), it would no longer have Miami's pick in 2010. Likewise for Boston and Utah, and with the team's pick that goes to the Clippers if Minnesota finishes outside of the bottom 10.

Second-Rounders from Miami: Miami holds the rights to Indiana and Philadelphia's second-round picks in 2009, in addition to its own. However, the draft-day trade from this past draft means that the Wolves get whichever two of those picks are higher*. So, if Indiana has the best record of those three teams, Minnesota will hold the picks of the other two teams.
*Higher here means not as good, or "worse."

If you have any other questions, feel free to write us at mailbag@timberwolves.com.