Wednesday, June 12 2024
Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle

The Houston Rockets have made nine first-round picks across the previous three NBA Drafts, but they see the rebuilding as having reached a next phase. It’s why Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks were brought in as free agents, and Ime Udoka was made coach — Houston wanted to start winning.

Which is why they are looking to trade the 2024 draft pick they control — one they got from Brooklyn in the Harden trade and is currently ninth, heading into Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery — reports Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. (Houston’s own No. 12 pick belongs to Oklahoma City.)

What the Rockets hope to do is trade their 2024 lottery pick to a team that wants more picks now and is willing to surrender picks in 2025 and beyond, Feigen reports. He adds that this has been an ongoing process, something that was discussed with Brooklyn around the NBA trade deadline back in February — Houston GM Rafael Stone reportedly wanted to give Brooklyn back some or all of the Nets‘ picks the Rockets control in exchange for the some or all of the Phoenix Suns‘ draft assets controlled by Nets. Brooklyn had no interest.

Moving this year’s pick is going to be easier said than done. The 2024 draft is considered a relatively weak one — All-Stars will come out of this draft, and there are solid rotation players in the lottery, but there is no Victor Wembanyama or Anthony Edwards at the top and a lot of questions below that — while both 2025 and 2026 project to be much stronger. Getting a team to give up picks in those and other future drafts to get higher in this one is a tough sell.

If the Rockets get lucky in the draft lottery Sunday and jump into the top four, that sales job gets a little easier. Whether that happens or not, expect a lot of Rockets trade rumors in the run-up to the NBA Draft in June as the team tries to take a step forward from its 41-41, 11th-place finish in a deep West (that will be even tougher next season).

Source: Yahoo Sports


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