0 out of 3
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The Houston Rockets may not have won the NBA’s 2022 draft lottery, but they walked away with something of a jackpot prize.
They landed number 3 in a draft that many believe features a three-perspective tier at the top. In other words, if the Rockets aren’t falling for one of those three — Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero — they can sit back, watch what drama may unfold about the first two picks, and choose one of the three Grabbing prospects happens to get in their way.
Given the state of their James Harden rebuild, Houston really isn’t able to accommodate the team’s needs during the annual draft night. Still, this roster has many needs, and in a perfect world, they will align with the new prospect’s strengths.
To set the table in Space City, here are Houston’s key draft requirements.
1 of 3
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Youth-heavy, rebuilding rosters often struggle on the defensive.
The Rockets fielded one of several youth-heavy, rebuilding rosters this season. Her defense fared worse than everyone else’s.
Houston has holes everywhere but is particularly vulnerable in the middle. A prime summer trade candidate, Christian Wood does (by far) his best work on offense. The same goes for Alperen Sengun.
This probably won’t affect the No. 3 – it certainly shouldn’t – but maybe Houston will have something to think about if Banchero, the top scorer but worst defender of the top trio, is the one who ends up there.
2 out of 3
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According to NBA.com, four different offenses averaged better than two assists for every turnover committed this season. 29 counted more than 1.5 helpers for each giveaway.
Do you want to guess who didn’t make it?
When you said offense would be quarterbacked by rookie Jalen Green and third-year combo guard Kevin Porter Jr., you nailed it.
Houston needs players who appreciate possession. And create plays for their teammates. And let the defenders stop dribbling. you have the idea
3 out of 3
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Houston has home run talent on the roster at Green. Even then, the 20-year-old shines brighter with his potential than with his actual performance.
Sengun has some alluring talents. Porter is usually good for an uppercut or two. Josh Christopher combines advanced shot generation with smothering defense. If everything goes right for Usman Garuba across the board, Houston could have a five-tool defender.
For now, though, this rebuild is all about Green first, and then everyone else. Houston needs to make sure the number 3 accompanies him on the top rung.
The Rockets already have a decent collection of role players who could sooner or later carve out important niches in good teams. You only need stars for support. Green looks like one. The #3 pick also better resembles one.