3 Trade-down candidates identified for Houston Rockets by insider

Could the Houston Rockets trade for Alex Caruso?
Could the Houston Rockets trade for Alex Caruso? / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The tension is mounting.

It's palpable. You could cut it with a knife. What will the Houston Rockets do with the third pick in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Could they draft Reed Sheppard? Donovan Clingan? Or, are they the team most likely to do something exceedingly rare - trade a top 5 pick?

Recently, Jonathan Givony of ESPN named a handful of teams who may look to trade for their picks.

Suitors identified for Houston Rockets

Each of these teams could present intriguing options.

We've discussed the possibility of a deal with the Grizzlies. The Rockets could be interested in a sharpshooter like Luke Kennard. Flipping the third pick for Memphis' ninth pick and a role player won't appeal to Houston, but if Memphis would throw in additional draft capital, there could be a deal to be made.

As for Portland, they could likely dangle Malcolm Brogdon for a combination of Houston's expiring deals and flip their seventh pick for the third selection. It would be a bold win-now move for the Rockets, but Brogdon is a strong contributor who will have ample value on the open market.

A deal with Chicago could take multiple directions. Alex Caruso would surely tempt the defensive-minded Ime Udoka. He'd be a fantastic addition to this roster, but with an expiring contract, the Rockets could be weary of footing his next bill. Otherwise, the Bulls don't have much to offer the Rockets besides future draft capital.

Should the Rockets be open to any of these arrangements?

Houston Rockets have options


The Rockets are playing with house money. They're in a unique position. This is a competitive team with a high lottery pick in what's perceived to be a weak draft.

They could justify trading down if they like someone who's further down on big boards. If the Rockets can get their guy and pick up future assets - or a win-now piece - why wouldn't they?

That said, they should also be looking closely at both Sheppard and Clingan. If the front office feels that either is a core piece they'd like to add moving forward, they should go ahead and make their selection.

We can't wait to see what they do.