Nice read from Ziller yesterday on the value of late 1st/early 2nd rounders. LINK
A few takeaways for me-
1- he thinks Vasquez is one of these blue chippers
2- for the tankers, there is value in a late first pick. Scouts need to do their jobs well
Keep and/or buy those late first-round picks. A ridiculous number of good to very good players come out of that range. Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague went back-to-back-to-back from Nos. 17-19 in 2009. Taj Gibson went No. 26 that year. You had Bradley, Bledsoe, Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Vasquez outside the lottery in 2010. Kawhi Leonard (who I'd call a star on his rookie deal at this point), Iman Shumpert and Faried were outside the lottery in 2011. There is almost nothing to justify trading away a late first-round pick for cash. If you're doing that, you're being shortsighted or you lack faith in your scouts to find the right gem. We can almost guarantee the gem exists. You just need to find it. And no team is 15-deep with talent. You can make a roster spot.
3- these are extremely valuable commodities and keep the team flexible
Why are these players so valuable, anyways? Because their low-cost production allow you to overpay in other areas. The Rockets would probably prefer to pay Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik less. But having Parsons under contract through 2015 for such a cheap price allowed Daryl Morey to splurge a little on critical positions. For a capped-out team like the Celtics, having blue chippers like Bradley and Sullinger allows the roster to remain competitive without breaking into the $80 million level. It's just like anything else. If you have a cheap mortgage, you can afford a higher car payment. A guy like Eric Bledsoe is like a screaming deal on an apartment. You don't want to give that up unless you're getting something really great in exchange
4- Ziller uses Beaubois to make the point that teams should look to deal these players when the value is high. I don't agree with that philosophy in NO right now. Even if they did want to move Vasquez for a bigger fish, they have no large contracts on the roster to make it work.