When a team doesn't have any draft picks, as is the case with the Wizards going into tonight, it can buy its way in from teams that are overloaded with too many.
The Wizards shipped their No. 52 selection to the New Orleans Pelicans late Wednesday for Tim Frazier, banking on him being better than any of the options expected to be available. League sources told CSNmidatlantic.com that they'll be actively pursuing another pick for tonight's event that begins at 7 p.m. ET.
But there are several teams that are bogged down with picks. The Philadelphia 76ers, who have the No. 1 overall selection, also have four second-rounders.
The Boston Celtics, who traded down to No. 3 overall in a deal with the Sixers a week ago, have three second-round picks.
It's simple math for NBA teams. There's a cap on the size of the roster they can carry during the offseason (20) and when the regular season begins (15 + two "two-way" players). The offseason roster includes free agents signed after the draft -- often for little or no guaranteed money -- to attend summer league play in July and training camp in September.
The Sixers have nine guaranteed contracts for 2017-18 and four non-guaranteed deals to decide on.
Not intrigued by what they saw left on the board when they were set to pick 46th in 2014, the Wizards sold their spot to the L.A. Lakers for $1.8 million. Russ Smith, Cameron Bairstow, Devyn Marble and Cory Jefferson were among the players who were drafted in the next 14 picks which speaks to how difficult it is to find a player who can actually contribute this deep.
Frazier was available but went undrafted out of Penn State. Tyler Johnson and Langston Galloway also weren't chosen but currently are firmly planted in the NBA.
In the 2017 collective bargaining agreement, teams were given a bump from $3.6 million to $5.1 million for cash transactions per season that a team can send or receive. This money can be used to buy picks.
In the 2016 draft, for instance, the Golden State Warriors purchased the No. 38 pick from the Milwaukee Bucks to take Patrick McCaw who came off the bench to make key plays in Game 5 of their NBA championship win earlier this month. The move cost $2.4 million.
Tonight, the Sixers' four second-round picks fall from Nos. 36-50; the Celtics own Nos. 37, 53 and 56; the Orlando Magic have Nos. 33 and 35; the Atlanta Hawks hold Nos. 41 and 60; the Utah Jazz have Nos. 42 and 55; the Knicks own Nos. 44 and 58; the Houston Rockets have Nos. 43 and 45; and the Denver Nuggets possess Nos. 49 and 51.