Rockets defy odds in lottery, land No. 2 pick in 2021 NBA draft

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Rockets avoided the dire scenario of losing their first-round pick by securing the No. 2 overall pick in Tuesday’s 2021 NBA draft lottery. Assuming Cade Cunningham goes first to Detroit, as most expect, Houston general manager Rafael Stone could choose between top prospects such as Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, and Jalen Green.

Houston finished the 2020-21 season with the league’s worst record. But thanks to the NBA’s revised lottery weighting percentages, which were put in place to disincentivize tanking schemes for higher draft picks, the Rockets had only a 27.4% chance of selecting in the top two.

By comparison, Houston had a much greater probability (47.9%) at finishing at No. 5, which would have sent their pick to Oklahoma City as a condition of the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade in July 2019. But Oklahoma City’s right to swap picks with the Rockets was top-four-protected, and the lottery draw went Houston’s way. The stakes for the Rockets were enormous, since OKC also owns Miami’s first-round draft pick (No. 18) and would have been able to swap that one for the Houston pick.

However, the Rockets don’t have to worry about such a doomsday scenario any longer. After one of the worst seasons in franchise history, headlined by the forced departure of longtime superstar James Harden, the Rockets will be in position on July 29 to potentially pick their next star.

Related

Rockets name Hakeem Olajuwon as 2021 draft lottery representative

Rockets unveil 2021-22 ticketing promo around June 22 draft lottery

List

Five prop bets related to Houston's 2021 NBA draft lottery outcome

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting