With the NCAA tournament in full swing, Houston Rockets fans will have time to enjoy the festivities and do some amateur scouting as well. The Rockets have two first-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft, their own and one coming from the Brooklyn Nets through the James Harden trade.
The Rockets, current owners of the worst record in the league, are in pole position to guarantee themselves a top-5 pick. However, the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are hot on their heels, and dropping to the second or third worst record would open the possibility of them landing the sixth or seventh pick in the draft. The Rockets have a three-game cushion on the Oklahoma City Thunder, so it remains unlikely they fall out of the bottom three.
The Brooklyn Nets pick resides at 16th, and it appears unlikely to move from the spot. The Cavaliers, who are sending their pick to Indiana, are at 17 and have a 3.5 game lead on the Nets. The Clippers, at 15, are one game ahead of the Nets, but it's unlikely that the Clippers will win enough and the Nets lose enough for them to switch spots.
Realistically, the Rockets will have a top-five pick and the 16th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Using ESPN’s 2022 Draft rankings, these are six prospects in the NCAA Tournament who could be available to the Rockets and would make excellent additions to their growing young core.