Reports indicate that teams are calling the Houston Rockets over the availability of their first-round picks. The Rockets currently own the 2nd, 23rd, and 24th picks in the 2021 NBA Draft and there is no shortage of rumors over their availability. While a trade of the 2nd pick would garner the most headlines, it’s the Rockets’ picks in the 20s that are getting the most attention.
The Athletic’s Kelly Iko paints an enticing picture for the Rockets.
"“Over the past few weeks, Houston has fielded dozens of calls from around the league with teams trying to get their hands on one of the back-to-backs, per sources. In particular, teams without a first-round pick have called Houston about sneaking in, offering proposals like a second-round pick and a player.”"- Kelly Iko
While Rockets fans might not love the idea of trading back, it was only last year when they selected Kenyon Martin Jr. in the second round. The NBA Draft is 60 picks and the distinction between rounds is arbitrary. It’s more important to focus on the pick number than the round.
Houston Rockets: The teams without a first-round pick in the NBA Draft
The 2021 NBA Draft has a total of seven teams without a first-round pick. Ranging from the rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves to the World Champion Milwaukee Bucks. If the Rockets do make the 23rd or 24th picks available they’ll have no shortage of suitors.
Of the seven teams without a first-round pick, four, the Miami Heat, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, also do not have a 2021 second-round pick. Obviously, this doesn’t recluse them from making a trade but it certainly complicates matters.
This leaves the Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Boston Celtics, as the three teams with a second-round pick but without a 2021 first-round pick. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if any of these teams tried to pry one of the Rockets' late-round picks. These are the best offers, ranked, that the seven teams can offer the Rockets to land the 23rd or 24th picks.