NBA Insider expects Rockets to ‘be active in trade talks’ with No. 3 draft pick

The Houston Rockets have secured a top-three spot in the 2024 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean the franchise will necessarily intend to use this selection.

The Rockets had just a 5.23% chance of landing the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft lottery, but the ping-pong balls bounced favorably and Houston moved from No. 9 to No. 3. the James Harden trade in 2021, and could allow Houston to select a quality option to improve its young, rapidly developing core.

However, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer raised the possibility of the team trading the pick, citing the fact that the team is already on the brink of playoff contention.

“With the Rockets on the rise, however, I would also expect the front office to be active in trade negotiations that could take them out of the draft altogether in exchange for a proven star,” O’Connor wrote.

Houston went 41-41 last season and narrowly missed the play-in tournament.

The Rockets haven’t reached the playoffs since 2020, but notably 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 helped bolster the roster. departure from the team as the franchise seeks to become a free agent. corner.

While adding another young developmental piece could be intriguing, the prospect of moving out of the third spot and bringing in a veteran who can more easily fit into the team’s existing core makes perfect sense.

There’s still time for Houston 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 listen to at least some potential packages for selection.