The Houston Rockets have been in a funk as of late. As of now, they are currently 11-14, which is good for 13th in the Western Conference standings. With the Cleveland Cavaliers on a six-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets currently are tied for the second-longest losing streak at four games.
After Christian Wood went down with an ankle injury in a win against the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this month, the team has been on a steep decline since. The Rockets haven’t had the luxury of playing with a consistent starting lineup with Victor Oladipo and John Wall missing time earlier, and this doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon after Thursday night’s loss to the Miami Heat.
Both Oladipo and P.J. Tucker exited the game early due to leg injuries. While the timetables for the injuries remain unknown, the Houston Rockets will continue to play with a partially healthy lineup. In addition to both Oladipo and Tucker’s injuries, both players are rumored to be on the trading block before the deadline.
This will likely cause regression in the team’s performance, thus, the Houston Rockets can end up with a top-14 draft pick for the first time since 2012. With approximately one-third of the season played already, a lot can change in terms of standings.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to provide us with some context of what the Houston Rockets’ draft situation is like this year. In the summer of 2019, the Houston Rockets traded Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for 2 first-round picks and 2 first-round swaps.
3 players the Houston Rockets should consider in the 2021 NBA Draft
One of those first-round swaps that the Oklahoma City Thunder own is in 2021, however it is top-four protected. If the season ended today, the Rockets would have the 8th pick in the draft. But wait, it does get more complicated.
With the Heat currently ahead of them after winning Thursday night against Houston, the Rockets will end up with the 11th pick in the draft since the Thunder have the option to take the 2 most favorable picks from the Rockets, Heat and their own. Since the season is far from over, a lot can change of course.
The Miami Heat have been dealing with their own set of injuries, but with Jimmy Butler rejoining the team after missing extended time due to COVID protocols, it is very probable for the Heat to continue to move up in the standings. This will ultimately leave the Houston Rockets with a less desirable pick, given the swap rights the Thunder own.
For the purpose of this article, we will proceed with examining three draft prospects the Houston Rockets can explore with their own pick, if the season ended today.
Next: Draft prospect #3