Houston Rockets: 2022 NBA Draft Team Needs and Targets
With the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaching, we're taking a look at what each lottery team needs to target with their draft selections, continuing with the Houston Rockets.
Welcome back to our No Ceilings 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Team Series!
Over the next few weeks, we as a team are going to dive into the needs and targets of each lottery squad. What are the weaknesses and holes of each franchise? Are there players targetable in the lottery who can help fill those gaps?
We will answer those questions and more 5-on-5 style, continuing with the Houston Rockets!
Without further ado, let’s see where Houston should look for some help with the third overall pick.
1. What do you think is the biggest weakness for the Rockets that NEEDS to be addressed on draft night?
Nathan: Two-way players. The Rockets have built a team consisting of mainly one-way options that COULD grow into improving other areas but, for the moment, are either all offense or all defense. Finding a piece that can come in and contribute on both ends of the floor should be the top priority in Houston.
Tyler Rucker: Another “guy.” I know it seems ridiculous, but the Rockets simply need to get Jalen Green another weapon. The best possible thing you could do for a young rising star is to get him some help and keep that confidence on the rise. Houston is young in their rebuild with plenty of young pieces eagerly awaiting their second year; now, get this team another weapon. There are too many needs to target one area with this high of a selection.
Tyler Metcalf: Defense, shooting, point guard, and a lot of other things.
Nick: This team needs playmaking help in the worst way; unfortunately, there aren’t as many playmakers near the top of this draft as there have been in previous seasons.
Albert: Playmaking, defensive versatility, versatility in general.
Alex: A true playmaking guard. Some better defenders would also help.
Evan: I’m rooting for Houston’s young core of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., Alperen Segun, Jae’Sean Tate, and Usman Garuba. I like the direction this franchise is heading, but they might be the worst defensive team in the league currently. Getting help defensively should be at the top of the list for the Rockets in this draft. I also think, given the abundance of shotmakers that they currently have on their roster, adding a floor general of sorts or an additional playmaker would be beneficial for this team.
Maxwell: Future star players. I wouldn’t worry too much about roster construction at this point. There are major defensive issues right now, but I wouldn’t worry about that as much as just getting the best players possible.
Stephen: Floor spacing, shot creation, rim protection.
2. Which position group would you target most for the Rockets: Guards, Wings, Forwards, or Centers?
Nathan: Forwards. Houston has landed in the Top 3 of the 2022 NBA Draft, meaning they will target one of the options with size near the top. There shouldn’t be a scenario in which another position group is tapped into here.
Tyler Rucker: Forwards. Get some frontcourt depth. The pieces are coming together; keep building them and let them blossom.
Tyler Metcalf: Wings or Forwards.
Nick: Probably forwards, and then wings.
Albert: I think they have holes everywhere. Any and all would be my answer.
Evan: All of the above, honestly (don’t kill me, Rockets fans, but you guys need massive help everywhere).
Stephen: Forward / Center
3. Is there any argument for the Rockets to draft based on fit around a core group of players, or should “BPA” be in play at all times for Houston on draft night?
Nathan: BPA. The good news is the Rockets have a number of great options to choose from near the top, and they should be happy to take the one that falls which, on my board, would be drafting BPA.
Tyler Rucker: BPA. This roster is so young on its rebuild, and they had an outstanding haul last year. Another good year and Houston could find itself picking up some steam in a hurry.
Tyler Metcalf: This team is so far away from worrying about fit. Take the BPA to play with Jalen Green and build for the future.
Nick: BPA. This team doesn’t have enough depth to consider anything else here.
Albert: BPA, there’s not much to talk about here.
Alex: BPA all day.
Evan: BPA. The Rockets once again need help at multiple positions.
Maxwell: You’ve got to go BPA at this stage.
Stephen: BPA and fit should go hand-in-hand on draft night for the Rockets, considering this year’s draft class.
4. Who are the Top 5 targets for the Rockets to select with the third pick?
Nathan: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Keegan Murray, and Shaedon Sharpe.
Tyler Rucker: Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Keegan Murray, and Jaden Ivey.
Tyler Metcalf: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Johnny Davis, and Keegan Murray.
Nick: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, and Keegan Murray.
Albert: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Johnny Davis, and Jaden Ivey.
Alex: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, and that’s the list.
Evan: AJ Griffin, Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., Johnny Davis, and Paolo Banchero.
Maxwell: Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Dyson Daniels, and Jaden Ivey.
Stephen: Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Shaedon Sharpe, and Dyson Daniels.
5. Who is an under-the-radar surprise target for the Rockets?
Nathan: Keegan Murray would be an absolute SHOCKER for a lot of teams, but it could make a lot of sense. Murray offers defensive versatility, help-side rim protection, perimeter shot-making, and high IQ on both ends of the floor. Houston needs mature basketball players to help their talented young core grow, and while Murray would be a rookie himself, he’s all about the business of basketball. Murray is the type of player I would love to draft to have in my locker room as an example while still possessing upside of his own.
Tyler Rucker: Dyson Daniels. It’d be one of the biggest “hold my beer” moments ever. Daniels and Jalen would be an awesome combo, but I still believe that Paolo ending up in Houston would be a great fit for both parties.
Tyler Metcalf: Jaden Ivey. I hate the fit, and it doesn’t make sense, but they would likely be the most athletic backcourt in the league immediately.
Nick: Anyone other than Chet, Jabari, or Paolo would be a surprise here, so I’m going to go for even greater shock value. What if the Houston Rockets fall in love with Dyson Daniels? He would shore up their perimeter defense and playmaking right away, and he would make sense as someone who could develop into a secondary scoring option over time while plugging holes for the Rockets in other areas right away.
Albert: I’d actually be angry for Rockets fans if they grab anyone outside of the consensus top 3. Don’t overthink this; grab the guys that are really good. Those really good guys make you really good, eventually.
Alex: Anyone outside of the Top 3 guys (Chet, Jabari, Paolo) would be an absolute shock to me. The Rockets are in kind of a stress-free spot in this draft where they can just take whoever is left of that Top 3 group. I love the fit of each of these guys, and they would be my BPA as well.
Evan: It seems as if “Draft Twitter” is pretty split on AJ Griffin’s ultimate trajectory as a pro, but he might fit really well with the Rockets playing on the wing. I think some people would loathe the pick at #3, but I definitely could see Houston taking the swing on Griffin.
Maxwell: Dyson Daniels. His fit next to Jalen Green would be absolutely sublime. He could take the tougher defensive assignments and help take some of the creation load off Green.
Stephen: At the third spot, I think Ivey would be the under-the-radar surprise. For one, it doesn’t address the frontcourt. Secondly, it puts the Rockets in a position where they would have to figure out the Jalen Green/Kevin Porter Jr./Jaden Ivey rotation. But, if Ivey hits as a point guard, Houston has an electric backcourt that can put tremendous pressure on the rim.