Should the Houston Rockets target future Suns picks from Nets?

Should the Houston Rockets bank on Kevin Durant leaving the Suns?
Should the Houston Rockets bank on Kevin Durant leaving the Suns? / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

For some NBA fans, first-round picks are magic beans. You're a sucker to trade for them. What are these mythical picks? What exactly do you think they will yield?

Then, the picks start rolling in. Suddenly, Bill Simmons has his foot in his mouth again. It ends up being his take that looks "historically, comically, unfathomably" bad.

The Houston Rockets just landed the third overall pick as a consequence of their James Harden trade. They've got more picks to come from the Nets. The Rockets have swap rights with the floundering Nets in 2025 and 2027, and they own their 2026 pick outright.

Should they trade them for picks from the Phoenix Suns?

Houston Rockets long linked to Nets

The Rockets and Nets are connected at the tip. There is constant speculation about a deal occurring between them. The Rockets own the Nets' medium-term future, and there's a prevailing assumption that the Nets would like it back.

It's also frequently assumed that the Rockets have an interest in Mikal Bridges. That could be true. Leading up to this year's trade deadline, rumors that the Rockets would send the Nets some combination of Jalen Green and their picks for Bridges spread like wildfire.

It's since emerged that the Rockets wanted some of the Suns' picks that the Nets control in the same exchange. Either way, the deal didn't occur, and Jalen Green detonated the NBA for the entire month of March.

Suddenly, flipping Green for Bridges feels shortsighted. Could a different arrangement benefit both of these teams?

Houston Rockets could make a different deal with Nets

Sure. There are nearly countless permutations of deals that could work for both of these sides.


That's interesting. On the Rockets' end, it's a neat, tidy upgrade. Bridges is a more dynamic offensive player than Brooks, and when he's got an appropriate offensive workload, he's a better defender as well. Still, the Nets get their future back here.

Yet, this deal leaves the Rockets without much draft capital moving forward. They have some outgoing backs heading to the Thunder over the next couple of years, and outside of these Brooklyn picks, they don't have much in the way of draft capital from other teams.

Why include players in the deal at all?

Houston Rockets could swap picks with Nets


The Nets' picks are inherently more valuable to the Nets than they are to anyone else. A deal like this would allow them to tank if that was their preferred course of action.

Does this deal benefit the Rockets? It's debatable. It is worth noting that the 2025 Draft features Cooper Flagg. Flagg isn't Victor Wembanyama - nobody is - but he's in that next tier of prospects with the likes of Zion Williamson and Cade Cunningham.

What if we take the 2025 picks out of the equation?


Frankly, we'd pull the trigger on this one. The Suns are in decline. By all accounts, they don't plan on "blowing it up" anytime soon, but if next year is another debacle for them, they'd have to consider it.

So, their 2027 pick is arguably more valuable to the Rockets than the Nets' pick. If the Rockets don't make a deal with Brooklyn, they'll be forced to soldier on and build a competitive team. In all likelihood, they'll be on the upswing by 2027. The Suns are more likely to be in decline, and that makes this pick a high-value asset:

shouldntbeback. 4 Rockets who shouldn't be back next season. dark. Next

Unless you're asking Bill Simmons.