2022 NBA Draft Profile


Houston Rockets

2022 Draft Picks:

3, 17
2021-22 Season: 20-625th place, Southwest DivisionDid not qualify for Playoffs
3Jabari SmithFAuburnUnited States
17Tari EasonFLSUUnited States
Acquired Wendell Moore (No. 26), Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss and Boban Marjanovic from DAL for Christian Wood
Acquired TyTy Washington (No. 29) and two future second-round picks from MIN in exchange for Wendell Moore (No. 26)

Pre-Draft Outlook

Houston finds itself in the top three of the Draft order for the second consecutive year after finishing with the league’s worst record in 2021-22. But general manager Rafael Stone indicated the club could be inclined to trade the No. 3 pick. “I definitely think by picking third or trading, we’re going to be a materially more talented team than we were last year,” Stone said in the aftermath of the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery. If the Rockets decide to keep their pick, they can land one of the top three prospects of the class in Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero or Jabari Smith Jr. 

A Stat That Matters

+10.1% — After the All-Star break, Jalen Green had an effective field-goal percentage of 56.5%, up from 46.4% before the break. That (+10.1%) was the fifth biggest jump among 99 players with at least 300 field-goal attempts before the break and at least 200 after the break.

The Way To Go

Stone prefers to select the best available player, as opposed to drafting for need. So, if the GM sticks to his philosophy, there’s a good chance that Holmgren and Smith could already be off the board by the time Houston makes its pick. That leaves Duke’s Banchero as Houston’s likely selection. But don’t count out Kentucky wing Shaedon Sharpe or Purdue guard Jaden Ivey. Banchero could stand to improve as a defender, but he should be able to come in and contribute immediately on the offensive end with his skills as a shot creator. The No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, Jalen Green, could use some help carrying Houston’s offense. 

Under Contract  

G: Josh Christopher
G: Eric Gordon
G: Jalen Green
G: Garrison Matthews
G: Daishen Nix
G/F: David Nwaba
G/F: Kevin Porter Jr.
F: Usman Garuba
F: Kenyon Martin Jr.
F: Christian Wood
C: Alperen Sengun 

Free Agents  

G: Trevelin Queen (restricted)
G: Dennis Schroder (unrestricted)
G: John Wall (player option)
F: Anthony Lamb (restricted)
F: Jae’Sean Tate (team option)
F/C: Bruno Fernando (restricted)
2022 Free Agent Tracker

Last year’s Draft 

2021: Jalen Green (2), Alperen Sengun (16)*, Usman Garuba (23), Josh Christopher (24)  

* = acquired via trade 

Michael C. Wright