Rockets closer to legitimate shot at best prospect in years

Real Madrid v LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Real Madrid v LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague / Sonia Canada/GettyImages

The implosion that appears to be happening in Brooklyn should be music to the ears of the Rockets. Let those Victor Wembanyama hopes build.

Betting to get one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery is generally an inadvisable process. Even the teams with the best luck barely stand a chance to secure the top pick, but that shouldn't stop the Rockets from looking ahead to Victor Wembanyama and the 2023 NBA Draft.

The reason behind this forward-thinking outlook is the mess that is currently building in New York. While there is a chance that the Nets can salavage the situation and keep their team intact to compete for a deeper playoff run in 2022, it looks like there is a decent chance that they could lose Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant before that point.

What a mess that would be. The Nets sold everything and their future to make the smallest bit of noise in the playoffs. Overall, the Nets' run with one of the best big threes in recent memory has been an extreme disappointment, and all the Rockets can do is laugh.

As the owner of the majority of the Nets' picks and the all-important pick swaps for the next few years, the Rockets can look at the 2023 draft with a bit more confidence.

No one should expect this Rockets team to dominate in 2022. In fact, even the playoffs seem far off in a Western Conference that already has plenty of talent at the top and the middle.

Houston has moved off of their veterans and is leaning into a very young core, and growing pains are on the horizon.

But even with those pains, the worst record in basketball still feels unlikely for a Rockets team that started to turn the page at the end of last season.

The same can't be said for the Nets.

Without Durant or Irving, the Nets look like the worst team in the NBA by a healthy margin. That team struggled in the playoffs with some combination of their stars. Imagine what they will look like in the regular season without them.

This is great news for the Rockets as they would then have the rights to that better pick during one of the most important drafts in nearly two decades.

Victor Wembanyama is a pipe dream right now. Still, keep an eye on Brooklyn and the Nets to see if that pipe dream is going to become slightly more realistic.

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