June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Terrence Ross (Washington), right, is introduced as the number eight overall pick to the Toronto Raptors by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Promises, Promises

The post-draft commentary on the Raps’ selection of Terrence Ross was largely negative.  Many pundits opined it was a reach to use #8 on a guy listed in most mocks as a mid-teens pick.  Colangelo was flamed for not trading down to the Rockets, for example, by exchanging our #8 for their #12 plus Kyle Lowry, then snatching Ross at #12 (that’s an example; I have no idea if such a deal was ever discussed, or would fit within the CBA).   I suspect the Raps’ brain trust was hoping that Golden State would pass on Harrison Barnes – but they didn’t, so the Raps took the consolation prize.   But what if the Warriors told BC days in advance “If Barnes is on the board at #7, we’re grabbing him”?  Is a promise a trade-able asset?   Would BC have traded down if he knew Barnes would be gone?

We heard much noise that Dion Waiters had a promise from a team to be selected early, so the young man didn’t bother with any individual tryouts.  Fortunately for Waiters, he did go very early, to the Cavs – did they make him a promise?  If they did, is that promise legitimate within the ambit of NBA rules?

The knee-jerk response to the question I’m posing is “No, one team telling another about its draft plans is collusion”.   But why?  Non-tangible assets (draft picks, draft positions, TPEs, etc.) are traded all the time.  Why shouldn’t draft intentions/promises be traded?  The value of that information is highly debatable, but isn’t healthy debate what the NBA is about, or should be?  Why couldn’t BC tell the Warriors “If you tell me you’re taking Barnes, and you actually do, I’ll send you a second-round pick”?  Where’s the harm?

That’s enough rhetorical questions for one post.  I want to hear from you.

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