Hopefully, someone in the Houston Rockets front office is a Seinfeld fan, because the NBA draft is a lot like the mail, and when you control it, you control…information.
Rockets general manager Raphael Stone will be armed with plenty of information heading into the draft, as he is poised to oversee the second, 23rd, and 24th selections in the draft. While the Rockets’ #GreenGang vs #MobleyMob civil war continues to rage across the internet, options abound with their later first-round picks.
Stone could attempt to package one of those picks in a trade to get off of John Wall and/or Eric Gordon’s burdensome contracts. It may, in fact, be most prudent to simply select a prospect with each pick. This is a deep draft, and adding two young players to the Rockets’ existing young core makes a lot of practical sense. A less practical, but more fun option: package the picks to move up in the draft.
We need to be realistic. If Stone calls up the Orlando Magic with the 23rd and 24th pick hoping to land the fifth overall selection, he’ll be greeted with either rage, laughter, or some combination of the two. Still, some teams may prefer bringing two rookies into the fold rather than one, more highly touted prospect.
For example, the Memphis Grizzlies are a good young team with a solidified core. They may feel that adding depth is more important than taking a home run swing at stealing a star with the 17th overall pick. Meanwhile, the Thunder have the 6th, 16th, and 18th picks in this year’s draft.
They’re likely to be looking to trade into the top five, but if they can’t orchestrate their preferred move, might they opt to keep the tank rolling by bringing in more rookies, rather than better ones? Meanwhile, the Rockets could benefit from consolidating the 23rd and 24th picks to target a prospect with a higher ceiling. In the event that they do, let’s take a look at five prospects the Rockets should consider trading up for in this year’s draft.