There have been lots of questions about the Rockets draft picks and, more specifically, the protection on those picks. We got the answers so I felt it would be best to answer these questions in FAQ format:
What are the draft picks that the Rockets received in the trade?
This has been widely reported, but here's the breakdown:
The Rockets receive the Knicks 2012 first round pick, with some protection outlined below.
The Rockets also get the rights to exchange their own first round pick in 2011 with the Knicks first round pick in 2011. So if New York ends up with the 7th pick and Houston has the 20th pick, the Rockets will exercise the right to flip those picks, putting Houston at #7 and New York at #20.
What is the protection on the draft picks that the Rockets receive?
The 2012 pick is Top 5 protected. The 2011 right to flip picks is Top 1 protected.
What happens if the 2011 pick ends up being the #1 pick?
Put simply, the Rockets get nothing. This is simply a right to swap in 2011 alone. It does not carry over into future years.
So if the Knicks win the lottery in 2011, they win big. No future obligation on this pick is carried over.
What happens if the 2012 pick ends up in the Top 5?
The Knicks will keep that pick if it ends up being in the Top 5. The obligation rolls forward for four years and is top 5 protected in each of those years.
If the Knicks pick 1-5 for four straight years, unlikely as it is, the obligation to Houston becomes two second round picks.
Do these picks have to be the Knicks own picks or can they acquire another pick from another team to fulfill this obligation?
These are the Knicks picks that the Rockets can/will receive. Period.
For example, the Knicks can not trade for a late first rounder from Portland and then send it to Houston to meet these obligations.
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