The Houston Rockets enter the 2022 NBA Draft after a couple of awful seasons, finishing 15th in the Western Conference for the last two consecutive years. With a lottery pick at number three, it should give them a chance to grab a promising young player to help them start contending and return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
Still in the middle of a rebuild in the post-James Harden era, the Rockets will need to bolster their defense if they want a shot at climbing the ranks in the standings next season. They had the worst defense in the league last season and will look to utilize their No. 3 pick to get someone who’s a game changer on both ends of the court. The Rockets will need to find a player who can thrive alongside Jalen Green, who had a great season after coming in as the No. 2 overall pick for the Rockets last year. Here’s a look at their draft picks and what fantasy implications they may have in Houston next season.
Rockets 2022 NBA Draft selections
No. 3: Jabari Smith, F, Auburn
No. 17 (from Nets): Tari Eason, F, LSU
No. 29 (via Mavericks): TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky
The Rockets have needs along the perimeter and in the frontcourt, so Smith is a great selection here. He’ll have to adjust to the high-volume player that is Jalen Green, but the potential offensively with both players is off the charts if they can work well together.
Houston gets to add another athlete in the frontcourt with Eason, who has shown some nice offensive potential. He brings energy and toughness to the Rockets, who are building a nice group of young players for their rebuild.
Fantasy basketball outlook
Smith is going to get minutes right away, and he should get enough volume even with Green taking on a bigger role in his second season. That makes Smith a great late-round fantasy option.