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Making sense of the picks coming to the Bucks in the J.J. Redick deal

The three-way trade sending J.J. Redick to the Clippers will net the Bucks a pair of second round picks with complicated protections. Let's try to clarify what they're getting and when.


With the July Moratorium over and the free agency signing period officially underway, the Milwaukee Bucks' first order of business was completing a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. The move represented a critical first step for the Bucks because it removed Redick's $9.3 million cap hold from their balance sheets. Combined with some presumed upcoming moves (namely, the resolution of Monta Ellis' free agency any number of ways), the Bucks will have the requisite cap space to sign some of the other deals they've agreed to.

In return for sending Redick to the Clippers and facilitating Eric Bledose and Caron Butler's moves to Phoenix, the Bucks received a future second-round pick for each team. But these are no ordinary second-round picks. No, these picks have crazy protections that don't make any sense, but were apparently necessary to get this deal done. Using the handy "Future Draft Pick" resource at, as well as Twitter reports from various sources, I think I've got a handle on when each pick is likely to come to Milwaukee. Here's what I've come up with:

2015 second-round pick from Los Angeles Clippers

The easier of the two, this pick was described as "lottery protected" at one point, which had a bunch of people excited that it was in fact a first-round pick. Sadly this doesn't appear to be the case. "Lottery protected" seems to mean the pick is simply protected through the first 14 picks of the second round, which is where it would be if the Clips fell into the lottery. This protection extends to 2015 and 2016 with no protections on 2017. So the Bucks will either get a pick from the Clippers in the latter half of the second round in 2015 or 2016, or a pick anywhere in the second round in 2017. LA is really unlikely to be a lottery team in 2015, so it's probably a safe bet the pick will be coming in that season.

2014 second-round pick from Toronto or Sacramento via Toronto, via Phoenix

This one is a doozy, and I'm not even sure I have it right because nobody has really acknowledged the Sacramento wrinkle. Here's the issue: Toronto owes Phoenix a second round pick in 2014, but it isn't guaranteed to be their own. It was to be the less favorable (read: lower) of their own pick or Sacramento's 2014 second-rounder. Their own pick is protected from #31-36, while Sacramento's is protected 56-60. If Sacramento's pick falls in that range, their obligation would be extinguished (i.e. it would be like they never owed Toronto anything). Now, it's HIGHLY unlikely that the Kings' pick will be protected (they'd have to be one of the top teams in the NBA for it to happen), so it's probably going to Toronto. That leaves two likely scenarios:

  • Neither pick falls in the protected range. By my understanding, the Raptors would then send the lower of the two to Phoenix, who would route it straight on to Milwaukee. Case closed.
  • The Toronto pick falls in the protected range. Assuming Sacramento's pick is conveyed, it would then get sent to Phoenix and eventually land in Milwaukee. Toronto's obligations would then be extinguished.

The third possible scenario (both picks protected) gives Phoenix the right to swap its 2015 second-round pick with Toronto's. I assume this option now belongs to the Bucks as part of the trade (though I'm not positive), but it's such a long shot that I wouldn't worry about it too much.

So what are the Bucks likely to get out of this trade? Assuming the next few seasons for the Clippers, Raptors, and Kings go relatively as expected, the Bucks are probably looking at an early/mid second-round pick in 2014 and a late second-round pick in 2015. Nothing too exciting, but a decent haul considering there was essentially no cost.

So that's what I've got. I hope I got everything right, and I'll come back and fix things if I hear anything to the contrary. RealGM's pick database is typically a good source of information, and they'll likely have everything updated soon.

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