The NBA Draft is right around the corner which means teams are going to be looking at ways to improve their roster whether by taking a prospect or trading the pick away for other assets.
When it comes to the Houston Rockets, who sit with the No. 25 overall pick in the draft, the improvement to the roster will come in the form of a free agent signing and how the draft factors into that could go a number of different directions.
According to Sports Illustrated NBA scribe Chris Mannix, the Houston Rockets have been fielding trade calls for the No. 25 pick but they don’t seem to be actively shopping it as Jusuf Nukic makes sense for them where they are.
The Rockets have fielded offers for this pick, according to league sources. Nurkic’s draft stock has fluctuated, as there is a sharp difference of opinion on his potential. He is raw, but is a big body and the tools to develop into a solid offensive center, according to international scouts. He’s a project though and may stay overseas for a year or two. That could make sense to Houston, which is looking to keep its books clear to pursue Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in free agency.
The Rockets may want to shed this pick to make sure that they don’t have to devote any money at all to a rookie, but as Mannix points out, taking Nurkic is a pretty safe investment as well.
Either way, the Rockets are going hard after a big free agent this year and their first round draft pick might be better spent being sold to the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets who want to trade into the first-round and are willing to pay hard currency to get there — something the Rockets can never have too much of with a free agent wish list like the one they have.