The Houston Rockets traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for Gary Forbes and a draft pick with "innovative" lottery protections, according to reports. We now have an idea what those protections actually are. Essentially, the Rockets are basically guaranteed a Raptors' lottery pick within the next five years.
Via Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle:
Rockets won't get top-3 pick next year, top-2 pick next two years or No. 1 pick the next two. Otherwise lottery pick goes to Houston.— Jerome Solomon (@JeromeSolomon) July 5, 2012
Essentially, the only way the Rockets don't get anything back from the Raptors is if they either make the playoffs for five straight years or gain a top-three pick next year, a top-two pick in 2014 and 2015 and get the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 and 2017. Of course, if the Raptors go 41-41 next year and just miss the playoffs, the Rockets would be stuck with the 14th pick in return for Lowry.
Therefore, time will tell how high that eventual draft pick ends up being.