In 2017, the 76ers traded a protected future first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Magic for No. 25 pick Anzejs Pasecniks. Pasecniks was a 7-foot-2 center with speed and little else, but that was at least an interesting combination.
Yet, Pasecniks won’t pan out for Philadelphia.
The 76ers have stashed Pasecniks in Europe to develop the last couple years. But teams can’t hold rights to draft picks indefinitely without the player’s consent. Each year, Philadelphia must offer Pasecniks a required tender – a contract worth at least 80% of the rookie scale to retain his rights. Until Pasecniks signs or agrees in writing not to sign, he counts against the cap.
Cap space is at a premium this year for Philadelphia, which is signing Al Horford. And apparently Pasecniks pressed the issue.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:
The 76ers could have traded Pasecniks’ rights rather than just renouncing him. But this suggests no other team wanted to surrender an asset to give him a rookie-scale contract.
Plenty of late first-round picks contribute nil in the NBA. Most get a chance on a roster, though.
It’s still possible for Pasecniks to sign elsewhere now that he’s an unrestricted free agent, but he could join the list of most-recent first-round picks never to play in the league:
- 2015 No. 26 pick Nikola Milutinov (SAS)
- 2013 No. 28 pick Livio Jean-Charles (SAS)
- 2007 No. 30 pick Petteri Koponen (PHI)
- 2005 No. 11 pick Fran Vazquez (ORL)
- 1999 No. 15 pick Frederic Weis (NYK)
- 1991 No. 25 pick Shaun Vandiver (GSW)
2018 No. 14 pick Michael Porter Jr. (DEN) missed his entire first season due to injury, but he’s expected to play this year.