The Houston Rockets have a somewhat complicated NBA draft outlook for the 2024 cycle, which will take place next June.
As part of the ill-fated July 2019 trade involving Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, Houston’s own 2024 first-round pick went to the Oklahoma City Thunder in most scenarios. However, since that top-four pick is protected, the Rockets will keep it if they are not good enough and/or lucky enough to get one of the top-four picks in the NBA given in the May 2024 draft lottery.
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Meanwhile, the Rockets have an unprotected first-round pick heading from Brooklyn, where the Nets have an uncertain outlook for the 2023-24 season after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving each left the team in February. .
In the second round, Houston’s own selection goes to Oklahoma City, but they should have three picks coming (with very light protection) from the Thunder, Nets, and Golden State Warriors.
So, what types of picks are likely, based on current rosters? Here’s ESPN draft guru Jonathan Givony’s prediction:
- Oklahoma City earned the No. 8 overall pick from Houston
- Houston got the No. 10 picks from Brooklyn
- Oklahoma City earned the No. 38 pick from Houston
- Houston got the No. 40 picks from Brooklyn
- Houston got the No. 44 pick from Oklahoma City
- Houston got the No. 54 pick from Golden State
As it stands, Givony seems to hope the Rockets and Nets are on the same level in the ballpark, as it pertains to their records.
If that’s the case, the picks headed to Houston from the James Harden blockbuster in February 2021 will largely cancel out those headed to Oklahoma City in the tainted 2019 trade.
This is far from a perfect draft outcome for the Rockets, but it will mitigate at least some damage, in terms of asset management.