Houston Rockets' third overall pick said to be "for sale"

Will the Houston Rockets draft someone like Donovan Clingan, or trade their pick?
Will the Houston Rockets draft someone like Donovan Clingan, or trade their pick? / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Be careful before you rule out a possibility.

Sure, that possibility may not be immeditately appealing to you. Still, sit on it. In time, you may feel differently.

The Houston Rockets seem to be following that advice. Will they trade the third overall pick in the upcoming draft? We're not sure:

But they don't seem to be ruling out the possibility.

Houston Rockets may be open to deal

At least, that's what Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman is hearing.

"Rival teams say No. 3 is for sale. There isn't much room on the Houston Rockets' roster for another young project, and the team plans to exit the rebuilding stage for a run up the standings. Adding another veteran or even a future pick in a perceived better draft may sound more appealing to Houston than No. 3 in 2024."

Jonathan Wasserman

Color us intrigued. Sure, we've been hearing these whispers for some time. Moreover, "rival teams" don't make for reliable sources. They have a vested interest in putting out misinformation.

Still, the closer we get to the draft, the more weight these rumors hold. There is so much smoke around the possibility of the Rockets trading this pick that we have to believe there's a fire burning somewhere.

Should the Rockets really trade this pick?

Houston Rockets should be open to the right deal

We're not sure.

We will push back on the notion that "there isn't much room" for a young "project" on the Rockets' roster.

Firstly, every young player isn't a "project". Reed Sheppard is likely to slot into a meaningful role on day one. Donovan Clingan would likely find himself at the back of the bench to begin his career - the Rockets have depth at center - but he should be ready to contribute if his number is called.

If the Rockets did draft a project player, they can stash him in the G-League. There is always room for a bluechip prospect.

That said, if the Rockets don't see a bluechipper in this class, they could easily justify trading this pick for a solid contributor and a future first. That would help them pursue their win-now goals and help them add young talent in the future.

So, the Rockets need to evaluate the situation. If a team offers them, say, a 2027 unprotected first, they need to ask themselves if a later pick in a stronger draft is more valuable than the third pick in this class. Who can say?

Just don't rule out either possibility.