The 2012 NBA Draft Lottery is Wednesday in Times Square, New York City. This means the NBA draft is right around the corner—the event where every NBA team will look to replenish themselves with an influx of youth or trade for veterans with their valuable draft picks.
Lottery franchises don't always love the players available to pick. Instead of choosing a player who might work out for them, franchises sometimes opt to deal their pick to a playoff team looking to add youth.
Just a year ago, in the 2011 NBA draft, the Indiana Pacers selected Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State. Shortly after being drafted, Leonard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for George Hill.
The trade worked out brilliantly for both teams. Leonard emerged as the starting small forward for the Spurs following the Richard Jefferson-Stephen Jackson trade. Leonard finished fourth in the 2011-12 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award voting under the watch of coach Popovich, who knows how good Leonard can be.
Hill finished in second place for last year's Most Improved Player of the Year award. On the Spurs, Hill stepped up and took the role of starting point guard as Tony Parker battled injuries. Following the trade to the Pacers, Hill became the starting point guard for the Pacers.
It's not rare for an NBA franchise that had just made the playoffs to trade for a lottery pick. It's a quick way to revitalize an aging roster. A team can go from young to old quicker than most general managers realize.
Lottery teams are oftentimes willing to trade out as well. Think of how the Boston Celtics created their current roster. Before the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the team finished the season with a record of 24-58, second worst in the NBA.
Like the Spurs a season ago, the playoff teams that'll try to trade for a draft lottery pick will be ones with multiple young trade assets. Without further ado, here's the list of NBA playoff teams that will look into trading for a draft lottery pick.