Winning just 20 games, the Houston Rockets were one of the worst teams in the NBA last season. And to make matters worse, luck wasn’t on the tanking Rockets side as Houston did not end up landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
All is not lost for Houston though.
They have the No. 3 overall pick and can land an impactful player to pair with rising star Jalen Green and talented second-year big man Alperen Sengun.
The Rockets also have two other picks in the first round and according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Houston is looking to trade the No. 17 overall to “acquire an additional late lottery pick.”
Clearly, this year’s draft is quite an impactful and important one for the Rockets.
So where does Houston land in the draft order? Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Rockets draft picks 2022: When does Houston pick?
The Rockets have three picks in the first round. They do not have any picks in the second round.
Round 1, No. 3
Round 1, No. 17
Round 1, No. 26
Rockets 2022 NBA draft order
Rockets draft needs
Frontcourt playmaking: In Jalen Green, the Rockets have a potential scoring champion in the backcourt. However, he’s not a natural playmaker for others and Houston would be wise to look for another scorer who also has some playmaking chops as a facilitator.
Rim protection: The Rockets love Alperun Sengun but while the soon-to-be second-year forward can fill it up on the block, let’s just say there’s more to be desired on the other end. Whether it’s alongside Sengun or coming off the bench, Houston could use a lengthy shot blocker to add to the mix.
Wing stoppers: If 6-9 perimeter wing stoppers were easy to find, every team would have them. The Rockets — like every team — would do very well to follow in the footsteps of the Pelicans with Herb Jones and the Thunder with Lu Dort, two rebuilding teams who found A+ defensive wings later in the draft.
Rockets mock draft 2022
Here are the latest projections for the Rockets, according to TSN’s draft savant Kyle Irving:
Round 1, No. 3: Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
The Rockets could use a scorer like Banchero to take some pressure off of last year’s No. 2 pick Jalen Green, and it’s an added bonus that the freshman star is also an advanced playmaker to also help set up the prolific bucket-getter. Banchero will give Houston a versatile player on both ends of the floor who will be a great building block for the future of the franchise, and after trading starting power forward Christian Wood, its cleared the way for this selection. Banchero, in my opinion, is the best player in this draft class, and the Rockets would be lucky for him to fall two slots.
Round 1, No. 17: Tari Eason, F, LSU
The Rockets already have plenty of offense and in this scenario where they select Banchero with the No. 3 pick, you can expect them to target defense with this selection. Eason is one of the best, most versatile defenders in his class with length, physicality and athleticism. He’s the type of switchable defender every NBA team is looking for, getting his hands in passing lanes and disrupting shots around the basket. Even without a polished jumper, he still averaged 17 points per game this past season at LSU. Eason is the type of defensive-minded player who can help speed up the Rockets’ rebuild.
Round 1, No. 26: Dalen Terry, G, Arizona
The Rockets acquired this pick from the Mavericks in a trade that sent starting power forward Christian Wood to Dallas. Houston could use a young, reserve point guard to groom alongside Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher and Terry fits that bill as a tall, versatile playmaker who offers something different than the previous two players. Terry is a pass-first guard who has a great feel for the game on both ends of the floor. His size and length are intriguing at 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, giving the Rockets a developmental piece for their rebuild.