Rockets Draft Central 2002

Rockets hold the top pick in the 2002 NBA Draft
Yao Ming
The Rockets are awaiting word from Chinese officials regarding the services of Yao Ming.
Complete Draft Coverage On

June 26 - Be sure to log on to for complete coverage of tonight's NBA draft. The moment NBA Commissioner David Stern announces the Rockets' selection of Yao Ming with the No. 1 pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, will launch an exclusive Yao Ming section, complete with video, photo galleries, a fan poll, quotes, a special contest, and much more!

All Systems Go For Yao Ming!

June 26 - Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg issued the following statement today: “I received a letter early this morning from Chinese Basketball Association Chief Executive Xin Lancheng confirming that all of his concerns had been addressed. We are looking forward to drafting Yao Ming with the first overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft. The fact that we arrived at such a mutually beneficial understanding in such a short period of time illustrates the spirit of cooperation and trust that existed throughout these discussions. There were many rounds of congratulations exchanged this morning with Chief Executive Xin, Yao Ming’s representatives and officials from the Shanghai Sharks.”

  • VIDEO: Rockets GM Carroll Dawson explains the decision to draft Yao Ming -



    Ming Negotiations Nearing Resolution

    June 22 - Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg issued the following statement today: “I spoke with officials from the Shanghai Sharks as well as Yao Ming’s representatives around 2:30 a.m. (Houston time) Saturday. They both confirmed that an agreement had been reached on the terms for Yao Ming’s availability for the 2002 NBA Draft. We realize this was a very crucial step in the process and look forward to hearing about the upcoming meetings between Yao Ming and the Chinese Basketball Association. There has been a great level of cooperation between all parties involved in this process and I fully expect a resolution very soon.”

    Rockets Attorney Address The Media

    June 21 - Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg issued the following statement today: "The NBA (National Basketball Association) has been in contact with the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) trying to see if Yao Ming could be available in New York for the draft. Commissioner Xin has been talking to them and wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on. He issued a release saying that because of conflicts with the Chinese National team - they have a game scheduled - that he wasn’t going to be able to go to New York for the draft. The fact that he’s not going to be there in New York doesn’t affect his draft status at all. I fully expect him to be made available for the draft.”

    Rockets Swap Picks With Heat

    June 18 - The Rockets have exercised their option to switch second-round picks with the Miami Heat, technically giving Houston the 38th overall pick in the June 26 NBA draft. The Rockets, however, will actually receive the 37th selection in the draft due to Minnesota's forfeiture of its first-round pick. The swap with Miami comes as a result of last season's Hakeem Olajuwon sign-and-trade deal with Toronto. Houston now holds three of the top 37 picks, including No.'s 1 and 15 overall, in this year's draft.

    Rockets Await Word On Ming

    June 18 - Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg left China late Monday night after wrapping up negotiations with Chinese officials regarding the services of Yao Ming. Feeling they had done everything possible to help Ming receive the necessary clearance to enter the 2002 NBA Draft, Goldberg and the Rockets now await further word from China. "We're still waiting," Rockets GM Carroll Dawson said. "Michael said he thinks we had a great week, as we all do. He has done all he could, so he's heading home."

    Rockets Closing In On Ming

    June 12 - Rockets GM Carroll Dawson reported from China this morning that negotiations have gone very well with Shanghai Sharks personnel regarding the services of Yao Ming. The Sharks have given their blessing for Ming to play in the NBA this season, which was the first obstacle the Rockets had to overcome. Dawson said he and Rockets Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich met with Ming for more than three hours today and watched him work out. According to Dawson, Ming is very excited about the possibility of joining the Rockets and that Houston has always been one of his favorite NBA teams. Stay tuned for more information as it develops.

    The 2002 NBA Pre-Draft camp concluded on June 7, and provided a good look at some of the top eligible talent for the 2002 NBA Draft. Check out's review of last week's action:

  • Day One
  • Day Two
  • Day Three
  • Statistical Leaders
  • Box Scores

    While the Rockets delegation of general manager Carroll Dawson, Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich, general counsel Michael Goldberg and media relations director Nelson Luis have been involved in negotiations with Shanghai Sharks personnel in China regarding the services of Yao Ming, the Rockets continue to bring potential draft prospects to Houston for individual private workouts. The following is a list of prospects the Rockets have worked out and plan to work out in the coming days at Westside Tennis Club.

  • David Bluthenthal (USC) 6-7 forward
  • Chris Wilcox (Maryland) 6-10 forward
  • Zaur Pachulia (Turkey) 6-10 forward
  • Marcus Haislip (Tennessee) 6-10 forward
  • Vincent Yarbrough (Tennessee) 6-7 forward
  • Nikola Vujcic (Croatia) 6-10 forward
  • Tito Maddox (Fresno State) 6-4 guard
  • John Salmons (Miami) 6-7 guard/forward
  • George Williams (Houston) 6-8 forward
  • Jamal Sampson (California) 6-11 center
  • Fredrik Jonzen (Oklahoma State) 6-10 forward
  • Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia) 6-9 forward
  • Andy Ellis (Texas Tech) 6-11 forward
  • Damir Krupalija (Illinois) 6-9 forward
  • Matt Barnes (UCLA) 6-7 forward
  • Ryan Humphrey (Notre Dame) 6-8 forward
  • Jermaine Williams (North Carolina-Charlotte) 6-10 center
  • Robert Archibald (Illinois) 6-11 forward
  • Reggie Evans (Iowa) 6-8 forward
  • Lonnie Jones (Ball State) 7-0 center
  • Luke Recker (Iowa) 6-6 guard/forward
  • Maurice Baker (Oklahoma State) 6-1 guard
  • Dan Gadzuric (UCLA) 6-11 center
  • Darius Songaila (Wake Forest) 6-9 forward
  • Qyntel Woods (Northeast Mississippi Community College) 6-9 forward
  • Caron Butler (Connecticut) 6-7 forward
  • Aaron McGhee (Oklahoma) 6-8 forward
  • Kareem Rush (Missouri) 6-6 guard
  • Chris Christoffersen (Oregon) 7-2 center
  • Drew Gooden (Kansas) 6-10 forward
  • Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) 6-9 forward
  • Amare Stoudemire (Cypress Creek High School) 6-10 forward
  • Kevin Lyde (Temple) 6-10 forward

  • On May 22 and 23, the Houston Rockets welcomed top small forward prospects Qyntel Woods of Northeast Mississippi Community College and Caron Butler of the University of Connecticut for private workouts. Both players are projected to be taken in the top 10 picks of the 2002 NBA Draft, in which the Rockets possess the first and 15th selections. Click here to view the question-and-answer sessions between the media and Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Woods and Butler.

  • VIDEO: Caron Butler, Aaron McGhee and Kareem Rush work out for the Rockets -



  • VIDEO: Caron Butler goes through a few shooting drills -



  • VIDEO: Yao Ming's representatives pay a visit to Houston -



    Russ Granik announces the Rockets as winners of NBA Draft Lottery 2002: 56k


    The Rockets entered the 2002 NBA Draft Lottery with just slightly less than a nine percent chance of walking away with the top pick. The lottery held true to form until the fifth pick when the Denver Nuggets were awarded the fifth selection. This meant the Rockets, who entered the lottery with the fifth-best chance of receiving one of the top three spots, had indeed moved up into the top three. After revealing envelopes bearing the logos of Memphis, Golden State and Chicago for the second through fourth picks, Rockets representative Steve Francis let out a smile, knowing the Rockets had secured the top pick in the draft.

  • Video - Rockets win lottery:



  • Video - NBA TV's report of Yao Ming's workout in Chicago:



  • Rudy T. speaks about the No. 1 pick
  • Rockets defy odds
  • What should the Rockets do with the No. 1 pick?
  • NBA announces early entry candidates
  • 2002 Draft Lottery Index
  • Evolution of the lottery

    Which draft pick was the Rockets' shrewdest of all-time?

    Which draft pick was the Rockets' shrewdest of all-time?

    View Results

    While Rudy T. and GM Carroll Dawson are feverishly working behind-the-scenes on their plans for the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, the Rockets would like to invite you to make your own plans to join us on Draft Day - Wednesday, June 26 - for the Official Rockets Draft Party presented by Gallery Furniture. This year's Draft Party will take place at Dave & Buster's located on Richmond at Fountainview from 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendars for what promises to be an exciting evening of fun and entertainment!

    Two days after the Draft Lottery, Rockets GM Carroll Dawson conducted a conference call with members of the national media to answer questions about the Rockets' No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

    As a result of Toronto's late-season drive to a playoff berth, the Rockets gained possession of the Raptors' first-round selection in this year's NBA draft. Since Toronto and Indiana finished with identical records, a draw was held to see which team received the higher pick. The Pacers won the draw, meaning they will receive the 14th pick in the first round and the Rockets will select 15th with Toronto's pick.

    The Rockets pulled off a draft-day stunner last year when they sent their three first-round selections (Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong) to New Jersey for the rights to Eddie Griffin. This was one of those deals that has worked for both teams, as Jefferson, Collins and Armstrong helped lead the Nets to the 2002 NBA Finals, while Griffin showed flashes of brilliance during a solid rookie campaign that has Rockets fans excited about his potential to do the same for Houston in the future.

  • Rockets deal for Eddie Griffin
  • Rockets, Magic swap first-round picks
  • Eddie Griffin draft profile

    Rockets Draft 2001 Video

    Rudy T. on Draft Night

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    Rockets War Room Video

    28.8+ |
    Welcome Eddie and Terence!

    28.8+ |

    Do you know who was the first player drafted in Rockets franchise history? If you guessed current Miami Heat Head Coach Pat Riley, you either have a great memory or you are indeed a serious Rockets fan. Riley, who was chosen by the San Diego Rockets with the seventh overall selection in the First Round of the 1967 NBA Draft, played three seasons for the Rockets before moving on to the L.A. Lakers in 1970. If you'd like to see EVERY player the Rockets have drafted in franchise history, click here to take a look.

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