1 Team’s Massive Trade Plans Could Change NBA Draft

Jalen Green, Rockets, NBA
Mar 23, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) reacts after a made basket against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have secured a top-three pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the franchise will utilize the selection.

Despite having only a 5.23 percent chance of landing the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft lottery, the ping-pong balls bounced favorably, and Houston moved up from No. 9 to No. 3.

This pick was acquired from the James Harden trade in 2021 and could allow Houston to select a quality option to enhance its rapidly developing young core.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Houston Rockets Updates

However, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggested the team could trade the pick, citing the team’s already-in-postseason contention.

“With the Rockets ascending, however, I’d also expect the front office to be active in trade talks that could move them out of the draft entirely in exchange for a proven star,” O’Connor wrote.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also discussed the Rockets potentially trading the No. 3 pick.

“I think there will be a lot of conversations with Houston; I think that pick will be available,” Wojnarowski said. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic further added that “some league sources expect the Rockets to make the pick available in a deal.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Houston Rockets Updates

Houston went 41-41 this past season and narrowly missed the play-in tournament. The Rockets have not reached the postseason since 2020, but more notably, they failed to win more than 22 games in a season from 2020-21 to 2022-23.

Those struggles ultimately allowed the team to select players like Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Amen Thompson in the last three drafts, and free-agent signings like Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks have helped fortify the team’s starting lineup as the franchise looks to turn a corner.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Houston Rockets Updates

While adding another young developmental piece could be intriguing, the prospect of trading out of the No. 3 slot and grabbing a veteran who can mesh more seamlessly with the team’s existing core makes plenty of sense.

Houston has some time to deliberate on which direction to take, as the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft is more than a month away. However, the Rockets will likely at least listen in on some potential packages for the selection.

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