We know that the status of draft assets can get confusing with all of the hustle and bustle throughout the NBA’s offseason, so with that in mind, here’s a refresher course on your Houston Rockets arsenal moving forward.
Houston Rockets Incoming Picks
|2025||1st||HOU, OKC or BKN|
|2026||2nd||OKC, DAL or PHI|
|2026||2nd||LAC, BOS, IND or MIA|
|2027||1st||HOU or BKN|
Houston Rockets Outgoing Picks
|2027||2nd||OKC, SAS or MIA|
As much as it would be nice for the possession of these picks to be straight forward, there are some caveats. Those stipulations are as follows:
- The Brooklyn Nets second-round pick is protected from picks 56-60 in the draft.
- The Golden State Warriors second-round pick is protected from picks 56-60 in the draft.
- Houston’s first-round pick is top four protected, otherwise it is headed to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It will turn into a 2025 second-round if the Rockets land a top four pick.
- Houston will have a first-round pick, but Oklahoma City has first dibs on it if the pick falls out of the top 10. Houston will then have the opportunity to swap with Brooklyn.
- Houston lands the second-most favorable second-round pick between the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City.
- Houston also gets either a Los Angeles Clippers second-round pick or the highest of one of the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers second-round picks, whichever is worst.
- Houston’s first-round pick is top four protected, otherwise it is headed to Oklahoma City. It will turn into a 2026 second-round if the Rockets land a top four pick.
- The final piece of the James Harden trade. Houston can swap firsts with Brooklyn if they choose.
As it currently stands, the Rockets will have 18 picks over the next seven drafts. That is split between seven first-round picks and 11 second-round picks.
It will be interesting to see how many of these picks will actually convey and which ones Rafael Stone will hold onto. Stone has already demonstrated that the team will move on from former first-round picks if there doesn’t appear to be any developmental space for them. That’s why the team opted to say goodbye to the likes of Usman Garuba, Josh Christopher and TyTy Washington Jr.
In all likelihood, many of these picks will be aggregated to bring in supplemental help for the young nucleus of the team. Some will be used to refuel the roster as it may prove difficult to pay everyone, but that potential issue is a discussion for a different day.
- The ramifications of the Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul trade will continue to shape the outlook of Houston’s draft until 2026. The hope is that the Rockets will win enough over the next three seasons so that Oklahoma City doesn’t land multiple lottery picks in a deal that wasn’t great to begin with.
- On the bright side, Houston still has a hold over Brooklyn until 2027. It remains to be seen if the Nets will make a push to land a star in hopes of becoming a true playoff contender, or if they will flirt with mediocrity until that point. Nevertheless, the picks they owe will help offset the disaster of the previous trade.
- The glut of second-round picks that Houston owns should not be ignored as the value of those picks are at an all-time high. Top to bottom, the draft has been more frequently filled with talent and it’s possible to find legitimate rotation players, even in the 50-60 range. These picks have also turned into valuable trade facilitators over time and enough of them can land a solid NBA player via trade.
As with just about anything in the NBA, only time will tell.