Forgive me for not knowing this, but what exactly is a lottery protected pick?
A pick which won't be conveyed until the protections aren't met, which ensures you don't give away an extremely high pick.
If the Hornets trade a lottery-protected pick for next year, it means they have to pick at least 15th in 2014 for the pick to be sent.
Subsequent years will reduce those protections, such as top-10 protection in 2015, top 3 protection in 2016, and no protection in 2017.
The pick we got from LA last year was extremely valuable because the protections on it had expired and Minnesota wasn't expected to be very good. It ended up being the #10 overall pick but just as easily could have been much better.
This post was edited on 4/25 at 5:05 pm