If the Celtics trade any of the Brooklyn picks they can not put any protections on them
When proposing trades to get a superstar to Boston, many people have pitched trading one of the Brooklyn picks we own to get it done. The pick other teams would demand is this year's 1st. The fear in making such a trade now would be the possibility the Nets ping pong balls hit the lottery and the pick ends up #1. The Celtics would of course lose out on Ben Simmons. Common sentiment is that the Celtics should protect the pick, even if it's just a protection for the 1st overall pick if they trade it. Apparently putting any protections on the Brooklyn picks is not an option.
If Boston trades the Brooklyn pick in any year, the Celtics would not be allowed to protect it. League rules stipulate that the pick must be sent as received originally.
To put it simply, Celtics fans can't have their cake and eat it too. If you want a blockbuster trade this month, you'd have to risk trading away the #1 pick and Ben Simmons. Honestly I wouldn't trade the pick regardless. Right now everyone is talking about Simmons. Last year it was Okafor and Towns at this time. The truth is there will be some other stars in this draft. There always are. Just because they are not getting the hype in February, doesn't mean much.
Bobby Marks of Yahoo Sports agrees:
2016 Brooklyn first-round pick
The Celtics should hang up unless they can land a top-10 player under contract for the next few years. Other than that, it would be best to hold onto this pick until after the draft lottery in May. It may be a below-average draft, but the pick will likely be in the top six, with a chance of being No. 1.
There are no top 10 players under contract for the next few years available unless you think Boogie Cousins is getting traded and he's not. Marks also warns not to move the 2018 Nets first either:
2018 Brooklyn first-round pick
The reality is that it could take Brooklyn a few years to get back into playoff contention. Similar to the 2016 first-round pick the Celtics own from the Nets, a future unprotected first is a gold ticket to land an impact player, either in the draft or through a trade.
While fans (and writers, bloggers, the players, the owners, Danny, Brad, etc) are anxious for the Celtics to become contenders now, it's not happening. The patient route is the correct course. Sure we could trade these Nets picks and get someone very good like Al Horford, but Horford will be on the wrong side of 30 when next season kicks off. He has already peaked. You would be acquiring a player about to regress and paying him huge money. You add a player like Horford to the team and we could max out at making the Eastern Conference Finals and losing to the Cavs. We're not beating the Cavs or Warriors with that team. And then after a few years of being very good, but not great, we'd be back to square one. So enjoy this team this season. They are a fun bunch. This summer will be when we have a chance to land that elusive star. It will come down to Danny picking the right guy in the draft.