On Tuesday, prominent NBA draft analyst Rafael Barlowe dropped a bombshell as it pertains to the Houston Rockets, just one day after ESPN's Stephen A. Smith did the same.
Barlowe reported that the Rockets could seek to trade the fourth pick in next week's upcoming NBA draft for New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson (subscription required). Granted, it should come as no surprise that the Rockets are open to moving the pick, as it was speculated that the franchise would move the pick if it fell outside of the top three, which it obviously did.
Do the Rockets have a realistic shot at landing Zion Williamson?
In addition, we know the franchise wants to make win-now moves and would ideally like to keep Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alperen Sengun, leaving the franchise with the fourth pick as their best asset. This begs the question of whether the Rockets would realistically have a shot at Williamson with a deal centered around the fourth pick.
For starters, Williamson is worth more than that and the Pels can get a far better return than that for the 22-year-old highflyer. Hell, the Pelicans reportedly view Williamson as the key to moving up in the draft and getting Scoot Henderson with the second pick.
Keep in mind, Henderson would be the first pick in the draft for each of the last three years (at least) and would go first in this year's draft, were it not for Victor Wembanyama, who is a generational talent. If the Pelicans believe the Duke product can land them a generational talent like Henderson, the Rockets will have to keep dreaming, because they don't have anything close to offer.
And Williamson isn't worth gutting their roster to acquire him, so they'd likely be forced to watch the Hornets get him, while watching the Pelicans get Henderson. And although both moves would be painful for the Rockets' front office, the latter would be far more excruciating.
We can't blame them for going star hunting though. That'll certainly get the attention of the fanbase.