3 win-win trades for the Rockets with the #3 pick

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Out of all indications, the first two picks in the NBA draft have already been determined. It sounds like the Orlando Magic have already settled on Jabari Smith and the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to take on Chet Holmgren. That means the Houston Rockets now have a little less than a month on the clock to make their picks.

This gives them plenty of time to scout out possible 3rd place picks, but all the time to really look for potential trades. Paolo Banchero is the third-best candidate out of most draft boards, but his creative, offensive skills may not be the best fit for a young core that already includes Jalen Green, Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr. and Alperen Sengun. Fit isn’t necessarily the best criterion for picking this high in the draft, but the point is that the Rockets have options.

There are a few different teams that might be keen to trade in for the number 3 and offer halfway equivalent value to the Rockets. Here are some of the most entertaining ways.

The Houston Rockets are trading back with the San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs (or at least their fans) are looking for an opportunity to trade and would like to take Paolo Banchero with the #3 pick. They could offer the Rockets a reasonable, if not overwhelming, package that gives Houston a chance to improve in both the short and long term.

Spurs could offer the No. 9, Keldon Johnson and one other player, depending on whether the Rockets have another raw wing (Josh Primo), a possible long-term backup point guard (Tre Jones) or another big body with a sane contract prefer (ZachCollins). For Houston, the move to No. 9 could still give a chance to nab either a big defensive man like Jalen Duren or a versatile wing connector like Jeremy Sochan or Dyson Daniels. Additionally, they would add another potential rotation figure, as well as Keldon Johnson – a 22-year-old forward who can defend multiple positions, averages 17.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game and averages 39.8 on 3- pointer shoots .

It’s a steep price for Spurs, but they get Banchero being a frontcourt complement to Dejounte Murray. They’d also have Devin Vassell, possibly Lonnie Walker, and the #20 and #25 to add more talent.

Landing Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers

Turner is an elite centre-back and his ground clearance makes him an incredibly useful big man, even if he’s somewhere below star level. At 26, he’s also early enough in his career for his timeline to intersect with what the Rockets are building. As a defensive anchor to help set things up for Sengun, Green and Porter Jr., he could help the Rockets focus on short-term competitiveness without sacrificing too much of their long-term advantage.

For this to work, the Rockets would need to send the No. 3 pick and some contract fillers like Eric Gordon, and possibly take back another asset like the No. 31 pick in the draft or a young player like Oshae Brisset or Goga Bitadze.

For the Pacers, the No. 3 Turner pick is incredible value, even if they have to include an additional asset to close the deal. They would then have the #3 and #6 picks to add talent around Tyrese Haliburton, along with up-and-coming young players like Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson, with veterans like Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield who could potentially be flipped for other assets.

Raise the Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings dropped out of the top 3 and are reportedly interested in trading for a veteran who can help them reach the playoffs next season. However, it is conceivable that they will take a different path and try to level up in order to achieve the same goal.

The Rockets could send No. 3 and Eric Gordon to the Kings for the No. 4 and No. 37 picks. The Kings would have to be without Jeremy Lamb and possibly more to make room for Eric Gordon. But they bring in a veteran, experienced shooter to add depth for a playoff push and land Banchero. It’s a less-than-ideal pairing with Domantas Sabonis defensively, but they would be a powerful combination offensively.

For the Rockets, that only works if they’re considering someone other than Banchero. They still get the player they want and lose a year of Gordon’s salary with a pretty hefty second-round pick for their troubles. It’s not a do-it-yourself business, but it’s the kind of marginal value that the top teams always seem to find.

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https://fansided.com/2022/05/25/rockets-win-win-trades-3-pick/ 3 win-win trades for the Rockets with the #3 pick

John Verrall

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