Ranking every Houston Rockets first-round pick of the Rafael Stone era

Where does Alperen Sengun rank among recent Houston Rockets first-round picks?
Where does Alperen Sengun rank among recent Houston Rockets first-round picks? / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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When an NBA team is rebuilding, they tend to prioritize the draft. That's the pipeline they can exploit to bring in young, cost-controlled talent.

When the Houston Rockets were forced to trade James Harden, they kept the draft in mind. The Rockets received nothing of significance from the Brooklyn Nets - besides draft capital. Between three unprotected first-rounders and four future pick swaps, it was the most draft capital ever to change hands in a single NBA transaction.

Still, getting the picks is only half of the battle. The other half is to spend them wisely. Most would agree that Rafael Stone has identified and procured young talent well.

That's not to say he's hit on every pick. With seven first-round picks in the last three drafts, Stone could never be expected to finish with a 100% hit rate.

Here, we'll rank each pick he's made so far. We're not simply ranking these picks in order of quality here. We're taking their relative draft position and the strength of their classes into account.

With that in mind, here are our rankings of every first-round pick the Houston Rockets have made during the Rafael Stone era.

9. Josh Christopher

Generally speaking, fans need to be more informed about what value they should expect from a first-round pick. The later picks in any draft are less statistically likely to amount to much.

Josh Christopher is a textbook example. He's been bouncing around the G-League since the Rockets released him last summer. That's ordinary enough for a 24th-overall pick, but it does sting to know that the Rockets could have had Herbert Jones, Cam Thomas, Quentin Grimes, or Santi Almada at this spot.