Current asking price for spare 2nd-round pick: $1.5M and up

By Chris Sheridan

Right now, teams open to the notion of selling their second-round draft picks are asking for a minimum of $1.5 million, a league source told me Friday.

Talk about inflation! Back in 2003, the New Jersey Nets took Kyle Korver at No. 51 in 2003 and sold his rights to Philadelphia for $150,000.

I wrote more on this subject on the ESPNNewYork Knicks blog, which you can read by clicking here. (There's even a link to a 15-minute podcast of a studio appearance I did with Bill Daughtry on ESPN 1050 sports radio in New York.)

Second-round picks are especially appealing to the Knicks because they will not impact the team's salary cap space this summer. New York currently has only five players under contract for next season, but NBA rules stipulate that a team carry at least 12 salary-cap holds at all times.

So if the Knicks have seven players on their roster coming out of the draft (the five currently under contract plus the two second-round picks), they'll also be required by the collective bargaining rules to carry five phantom players with cap holds of $473,604 -- the minimum salary for the 2010-11 season. If they have five extra actual players through draft-night purchases, the cap holds stay at the same $473,604 figure.

Here is a link to the entire NBA draft order. Teams with multiple picks at the middle-to-bottom of the second round include Minnesota (Nos. 45 and 56), Phoenix (46 and 60) and the Lakers (Nos. 43 and 58). Financial logic would also dictate that the Knicks might have a shot at buying the No. 55 pick from the Utah Jazz, who must pay a luxury tax bill of nearly $2 million for the 2009-10 season. The Lakers ($21.4 million) and Suns ($5.04 million) also are tax-paying teams and also probably wouldn't mind dipping into Jim Dolan's deep pockets to help pay their bills.