Houston Rockets reportedly expected to trade No. 3 pick, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder interested

Houston Rockets rumors, NBA rumors
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets were one of the biggest winners of the draft lottery, landing the third overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. With a top pick and plenty of young assets to move, the Rockets are reportedly expected to make a big trade this week.

Houston has been pursuing a star player for years since the departure of James Harden. The young team showed real improvement last season, improving from 22-60 to 41-41 with coach Ime Udoka. Following the team’s success, the front office is now looking for a piece that can help make the Rockets a playoff threat.

Related: San Antonio Spurs eyeing fast-rising prospect at No. 4 overall

ESPN NBA analyst Jonathan Givony wrote in his latest 2024 NBA mock draft that the Rockets have kept the No. 3 overall pick in trade conversations for weeks. Houston is expected to keep shopping its top selection all week and many NBA teams are “operating under the assumption” that the third overall pick will be traded.

  • 2024 NBA Draft date: Wednesday, June 26 (Round 1) and Thursday, June 27 (Round 2)

Related: 10 bold predictions for 2024 NBA Draft, including Oklahoma City Thunder

Houston has already been linked to some of the biggest names floated in NBA trade rumors this summer. Kevin Durant, Mikal Bridges, Brandon Ingram and Jimmy Butler are all reportedly on the Rockets trade radar.

However, Houston recognizes that it might not be able to land a star player even if it trades the No. 3 pick. One other scenario being considered is trading down, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies reportedly among the teams interested in moving up.

Related: Best second-round picks in NBA Draft history

One player multiple teams evidently view as worthy of trading up for is center Donovan Clingan. Before March Madness, the 7-foot-2 big man was viewed as a likely lottery pick. However, after winning consecutive NCAA titles, the UConn Huskies star is now seen as a consensus top-five talent.

The Grizzlies and Thunder both could offer a first-round pick this year and future firsts in a deal with Houston. Even if the Rockets trade down on draft night, the move should be viewed as a precursor to a potential blockbuster trade for an impact starter.

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