Now that we know the Rockets are picking third and 17th in next month’s NBA Draft, it’s time to start figuring out who Houston is going to add to its roster as it continues to rebuild in the post-James Harden Era.
There seems to be very little suspense at No. 3. Most experts agree this is a draft with three players in the top tier – Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero – and almost just as many agree that Smith and Holmgren will be the first two players picked, although there are plenty of differing opinions about the order for those two. That leaves the Rockets to take Banchero, who likely is the most NBA-ready player in the draft.
It’s almost impossible to say who the Rockets will take at No. 17, one of the picks the Rockets got from the Brooklyn Nets in the Harden trade. The NBA has a lot of draft-day trades, so it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if the Rockets don’t even pick someone in that exact spot.
Still, we went through some of the most respected mock drafts and tried to piece together what people are thinking the Rockets will do on June 23 …
Duke’s Paolo Banchero (left) and LSU’s Tari Eason are a popular combo for Rockets fans when projecting who their team might take in the first round of the NBA Draft.