NBA Draft Lottery: Houston Rockets Among 3 Teams To Become #1 In 2022; Chet Holmgren was considered the leader in the top pick

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The Rockets have a chance to rebuild again with promising young figures with the best chance of making a top-four pick in Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery.

If that sounds familiar, Houston encountered similar circumstances the year before when they were able to get that #2 Pickwhich became the pick of Jalen Green.

The 20-year-old Green thrived in his rookie year, becoming a No. 1 scoring option for the Rockets, who also gained three other first-round talents in 2021: Josh Christopher, Usman Garuba and Alperen Sengun, who went on to star in the team has become. all workhorse and a real fan favorite. Sengun was acquired by Oklahoma City in a draft night trade.

The Rockets had three first-round picks to work with last year, but they’re down one first-round pick going into the 2022 NBA draft. Houston has its own pick, decided by ping-pong balls, and the Brooklyn Nets’ No. 17 pick, which was acquired as part of the James Harden trade.

The draft lottery determines which team gets a top 4 pick, and Houston’s flashy but inconsistent season “won” them and two other teams — the Magic and the Pistons — with a 14% chance of picking No. 1.

Even if Houston misses the first overall win, the team still has the best chance of finishing second through fourth. All in all, Houston has a more than 50% chance of finishing top of the draft in the futile four.

If the Rockets are left out of the coveted positions for any reason — as a reminder, this is pretty much 50/50, they’ll default to No. 5 after setting their worst record of the past season at 20-62. The rest of the draft order outside of the top 4 is determined by the worst record among the non-playoff teams.

The NBA Draft Lottery will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT.

Now that the design details are out of the way, who are the prospects that Rockets GM Rafael Stone has his eye on?

First, given the abundance of players under 23 on the list, we need to address the needs of the team. ESPN‘s Bobby Marks believes the point guard position is badly needed and is looking to attack a defensive playmaker up front.

Chet Holmgren can address one of those needs. At 7 feet and 190 pounds — yes, he’s super tall and skinny — Gonzaga’s tall man has something ESPN‘s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz say an “elite combination of mobility, distance and timing” shown in Holmgren’s 5.3 blocks per game.

Holmgren is the No. 1 consensus among pundits, with ABC13 sporting director Greg Bailey saying he could be a “generational player”.

However, if Houston doesn’t end up at the top of the draft lottery, Holmgren is guaranteed not to slip off the board, regardless of the Rockets’ position.

Outside of Holmgren, Houston could catch a glimpse of Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr., Duke forward Paolo Banchero, Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and Iowa forward Keegan Murray, all of whom are considered Impact players who are still to help rebuild the Rockets.

“I think we’re going to be a more talented team next year than we were this year, and actually I think just talent-wise we were a pretty talented team,” Stone said. “We were just exceptionally young. There’s a good chance we’ll be even younger next year, but you never know.”

The 2022 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 23rd. The first round will be broadcast live on ABC13. The full draft will be available on ESPN.

ESPN contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. NBA Draft Lottery: Houston Rockets Among 3 Teams To Become #1 In 2022; Chet Holmgren was considered the leader in the top pick

Chrissy Callahan

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