Wednesday, May 25 2022

The Houston Rockets currently have four first-round picks on their roster from the 2021 NBA draft, two promising second-year players in Jae’Sean Tate and KJ Martin, and two first-round selections coming in the 2022 draft (their own and the higher of Miami and Brooklyn’s picks).

As a result, it isn’t easy with the current roster construction to find playing time for other young players to develop. Thus, if the Rockets acquire first-round picks at the NBA’s Feb. 10 trade deadline for veterans such as Eric Gordon or Christian Wood, they are reportedly more interested in having those selections in future years than in 2022.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle explains:

They have two second-year players, Jae’Sean Tate and K.J. Martin, in the rotation and chose four then-teenagers in last year’s draft, collecting more young players than they have had minutes to play.

With two picks in the next draft, if the Rockets are going to deal for more, they would value picks that would come in later seasons. Last season’s deals indicate the priority would be getting picks with as little protection as possible, rather than with more immediate returns.

For the same reasoning, it also makes sense that Houston is focused on long-term upside (i.e. an unprotected pick with potential of being high) over short-term certainty. With so many young players already in place, adding yet another prospect of a similar ceiling — without a clear avenue to play them — wouldn’t seem to have much purpose.

Granted, Houston would almost certainly accept another premium draft pick in 2022, if it were offered that in a trade. But for veterans such as Gordon, Wood, and John Wall, it’s hard to envision a rival team with a top pick this offseason being willing to offer it for that type of player.

Related

Rockets veterans Daniel Theis, David Nwaba, DJ Augustin reportedly drawing trade interest

Report: Rockets less likely to trade Eric Gordon, Christian Wood by deadline

List

2022 NBA trade deadline updates: Latest Houston Rockets rumors

Source: Yahoo Sports

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