#7: Chicago's protected 2025 first-round pick
After the Kawhi Leonard trade, the Spurs managed to put off rebuilding for several years with the help of DeMar DeRozan. Then, once he hit free agency, they helped facilitate a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls, which helped fast-track their rebuild. San Antonio acquired Thaddeus Young, Al Farouq Aminu, two second-round picks, and, more importantly, a lightly protected future first-round pick.
That pick is top 10 protected in 2025 and top-eight protected in 2026 and 2027, all but ensuring that it will convey at some point. The Bulls already missed the playoffs this season, and two members of their big three, Nikola Vucevic and DeRozan, are 32 and 33, respectively. Worse yet, they traded their pick to Orlando, which is 11th in this year's draft, meaning that they could steadily get worse.
That's great for the Spurs, who could have a nest egg that they can hang onto and cash in on in the second half of the decade, when they're beginning to ascend. That is especially true with the new collective bargaining agreement increasing the need for cheap rotation players, with lottery picks on rookie-scale contracts being the best possible deals.