The Houston Rockets likely won't get their pick of the three forwards at the top of the 2022 NBA Draft, but there is still a hierarchy of the three players and how they fit in Houston.
The Houston Rockets are going to be thankful to land any of the three forwards at the top of the class. Just being able to have the chance at one is all that matters.
With that being said, there is still an order in which the Rockets would like for the draft to go if it was happening in a dream scenario, and the hierarchy could still matter if Houston gets a chance to trade up.
1. Jabari Smith, Auburn, F
Smith is a great three-point shooter, can play defense, and is six feet ten inches. There isn't a ton to go crazy about in this year's class relative to the past few years, but Smith is a genuine shooter that would fit with the Rockets like a glove.
The ability to catch and shoot and play defense wherever would give the Rockets a great player to work off Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. as another threat in this young group.
Doesn't seem very likely that Smith makes it to three, but we can dream, right?
2. Paolo Banchero, Duke, F
Banchero seems like the most likely option to be available at the third pick. The Duke forward is a little ball-dominant in his offense to fit as well as Smith, but he can make a lot happen in the paint offensively, and the Rockets still have a need for that.
The defensive side of things is where Banchero is going to struggle relative to Smith, but the production on the other end of the court is what is going to sell people on Banchero.
3. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga, F
Holmgren just feels like too much of a gamble with his size and frame. Being able to put on a bunch of weight would make this pick seem safer if it was available, but no one should count on that to happen or for Holmgren to slip to three.
Chet handles the ball well, scores with ease, and can play some decent defense, but counting on him to stay healthy long-term seems like too much of a risk.
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