Celtics' first-round pick in Malcolm Brogdon trade has strong protection, per report

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Report: Celtics put smart protection on first-round pick in Brogdon trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics made a bold move to acquire point guard Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

The Celtics also did a great job protecting themselves from risk in this deal.

The main asset the Celtics sent to the Pacers was a 2023 first-round pick. However, according to MassLive's Brian Robb, this selection is top-12 protected and would become a second-rounder if not conveyed next year.

So, if the Celtics have a horrible 2022-23 season and their pick lands anywhere in the top 12, they keep it and instead send a second-round pick to the Pacers to complete this Brogdon trade.

The chances of the Celtics landing a top 12 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft are incredibly slim, but you have to give Boston's president of basketball operations Brad Stevens credit for protecting the franchise in case of catastrophe.

If the Celtics do send their 2023 first-rounder to the Pacers, which is by far the most likely outcome, they will go three consecutive years without owning their first-round pick. That's not a horrible scenario, though, it's often the cost of business for contending teams in win-now mode. It also helps that the Celtics nailed many of their previous first-round selections over the last seven or so years, including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard.

The Brogdon trade cannot become official until July 9.