Pistons can trade a first-round draft pick, just not easily and not for 2013 or 2014

Previously, I wrote the Pistons couldn’t trade a first-round pick until they sent theirs to the Bobcats as part of the Ben Gordon trade.

As the Grizzlies-Cavaliers trade earlier this week proved, I was wrong. The Pistons can trade a first-round pick.

It just wouldn’t be easy.

Similarly to the Pistons, the Grizzlies already traded a protected first-round pick (currently owned by the Timberwolves) that hasn’t been transferred yet. But it appears the Cavaliers agreed to accept their first rounder from Memphis two years after Minnesota receives its pick.

So, the Pistons can’t trade a first-round pick unless the receiving team agrees to those terms, which I previously didn’t believe were conditions allowed to be placed on a traded pick.

In other words, a team receiving a Pistons’ first-round pick in a trade now wouldn’t get it until 2015 at the earliest, and if the Pistons miss the playoffs this year, it would become 2016 at the earliest.

The Pistons still have the same restrictions in trading a first-round pick I outlined in my initial post – with one distinction. The team receiving the pick could agree now to wait to receive the pick based on when the Bobcats receive their pick.

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