Multiple reports and the majority of expert mock drafts have pointed to the Rockets leaning toward G League Ignite wing Jalen Green as their choice with the No. 2 pick in the draft. However, speaking about the draft on Wednesday, general manager Rafael Stone was unwilling to drop any hints about whether that speculation is accurate.
According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, Stone didn’t even want to commit to the Rockets keeping their current picks (including the 23rd and 24th overall selections) and said he’d rather not make up his mind yet about which player he wants to draft at any of those spots, including No. 2.
“I actually do believe that’s the wrong approach,” the Rockets’ GM said. “I think the right approach is to do the work, work as hard as you can, use every minute, and keep every option open. It’s still not guaranteed that we’re picking (at all) or that we’re picking in that spot. It’s more likely than not. It always is. It’s our job to figure out what possibilities exist.”
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- Kelly Iko and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic discuss what the Rockets will do with their three first-round picks, exploring what sort of trade scenarios might be realistic.
- In a separate story, Iko reports that the Rockets are expected to continue talking to the Pistons about the No. 1 pick and have received some interest in teams looking to move up to No. 2, but the most likely scenario is that Houston stays put. The club has also fielded “dozens” of calls about the Nos. 23 and 24 picks, Iko adds.
- Texas big man Kai Jones visited the Spurs earlier this week, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Jones could be an option for San Antonio at No. 12 in next Thursday’s draft.
- As the Grizzlies weigh their options in free agency and on the trade market, their decision tree will start with Justise Winslow‘s team option, writes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. The club’s decision on that $13MM option will be a major factor in dictating how much cap flexibility Memphis has this offseason. For his part, Herrington would pass on that option.
- This offseason will be a revealing one for Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies‘ other top decision-makers, according to Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who suggests that decisions on Winslow’s option and a possible rookie scale extension for Jaren Jackson will provide major hints about the team’s direction.