Title: Raptors stay out of market for second-round picks, land Rawle Alkins after draft
Date: June 22, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I tried to analyze the Raptors’ decision not to trade into the draft and the factors that may have gone into it.
We still don’t really have any idea what a second-round pick cost at the 2018 NBA Draft.
This, the morning after, is a little unexpected. So, too, was the general inactivity of draft night in general — outside of the Dallas Mavericks moving up to secure Luka Doncic and the Philadelphia 76ers reaching back into the Sam Hinkie bag of tricks to get a potentially valuable 2021 first-round pick to flip intriguing wings, it was a very quiet night on the trade front. To wit, over the last four drafts combined, 49 players under contract were dealt on draft night. That number was exactly zero on Thursday.
And while there were some second-round picks traded in the type of deals the Toronto Raptors could have theoretically been involved with, just a single one was sold outright. This, too, was unique. In 2017, five second-round picks were purchased outright and a sixth was acquired for a future second and cash. The year prior, three picks were sold and another was dealt for a future pick and cash. In 2015, it was two and two. With the collective bargaining agreement introducing a spike in the cash allotment each team can send and receive in the 2017-18 cap year — $5.1 million, up from $3.5 million — cash was instead harder to come by, or carried less market value, or some combination of both. Real cash, while not factored into team salary and the luxury tax, is still a part of every team’s budget, and ahead of a summer where half the league could wind up in the tax, purse strings would be justified in tightening. Similarly, the latest CBA changes put an even greater emphasis on player development, and teams flipping even redundant picks late in the draft being reluctant to trade those in for cash rather than future assets is similarly justifiable.