"The great thing is that this pick will get a lot of interest back in the Rockets again after an injury-plagued year," Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "In the back of my mind, I kept hoping all of the agony we were going through during the season would pay off somewhere. Right now, we have the opportunity to get that payoff."
The Rockets possessed the fifth-best chance of receiving one of the top three selections, as Chicago, Golden State, Memphis and Denver all held lower winning percentages than Houston's 28-54 record. Chicago won the second overall pick and Golden State received the third pick in the lottery.
This marks the fifth time in franchise history that the Rockets have possessed the first pick in the NBA Draft. With the top overall selection, the Rockets drafted Elvin Hayes in 1968, John Lucas in 1976, Ralph Sampson in 1983 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984.