Houston Rockets: The Rockets’ 5-step rebuild plan to contention

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets Houston Rockets general manaer Rafeal Stone (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets Houston Rockets general manaer Rafeal Stone (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Sam Dekker Houston Rockets, Adam Silver (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Sam Dekker Houston Rockets, Adam Silver (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets rebuild step 3: Keep acquiring first-round picks

The next step to the Rockets’ rebuild is to keep on acquiring first-round picks. The James Harden trade landed the Rockets a ton of picks and pick-swaps but most of the package negated the loss of draft capital they surrendered to land Russell Westbrook.

Draft picks are the unofficial currency of the NBA. Sure, drafting and developing a first-round pick is an option but picks are best used to buy proven NBA players. Draft picks are lottery tickets but James Harden is a sure thing.

The Rockets should be able to add a fair amount to their war chest before the deadline. P.J. Tucker, David Nwaba, and Victor Oladipo are all on expiring deals and should be able to land the franchise at least three first-round picks.

Eric Gordon and Danuel House should be the next Rockets they begin shopping and could be gone as soon as this offseason. To keep the stream of picks coming expect the Rockets to sign veteran players to one-year deals that they can move midseason over the next few seasons.

The Rockets need to keep bringing in picks to either get young cost-controlled talent or to swing those picks for NBA-ready talent. The Rockets, before James Harden arrived, were in a similar position and they used their draft capital to build a winner overnight.

Next: Step 4

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