Rockets Land Pick Three in the NBA Draft Lottery

It’s still the playoffs for the NBA, but for all the lottery teams, Tuesday night was the first moment of a long offseason: the NBA draft lottery. The Rockets, who couldn’t pick anything worse than fifth because they finished the season with the league’s best record for the second straight year, finished with the No. 3 pick in July’s draft a year after landing Jalen Green with the second pick. selection in 2021.

It was a busy day for the Rockets as they also announced that two assistant coaches, Jeff Hornacek and Will Weaver, will no longer be with the team after serving in their roles for two seasons. It has been widely speculated that Mahmoud Abdelfattah, the coach of the Rockets G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, would take on the role of assistant on the NBA team after high levels of success with the Vipers.

But ultimately, all eyes were on the lottery draw. Chicago’s combined draft is next as the Rockets begin evaluating their options. Most draft experts believe Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Jabari Smith, Jr. (Auburn) and Paolo Banchero (Duke) will be the top three picks in the draft in some order. All three would fit in with the Rockets as big men with different skill sets.

Holmgren is considered a “unicorn” with rare defensive skills and offensive traits, but lacks the typical NBA frame. Smith is the best shooting big man in the draft, but he’s not a guy who, at least now, can get his own shot. Banchero is the most complete offensive attacking player with an NBA-ready game, but he needs to improve his defense.

Banchero and Smith are 19 years old. Holmgren just turned 20.

There will be a lot more analysis to come on the picks, lest we forget the Rockets also have the 17th pick acquired from Brooklyn in the James Harden trade, but getting a top-three pick for the second straight year is a significant boost for the Rockets. Rockets. hopes of continued reconstruction.

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