In a milestone day for the franchise’s rebuilding efforts, the Rockets enter Thursday’s 2021 NBA draft with three first-round picks. It will be the first time for Houston to make any first-round selection since 2015, and the first time that they’ve selected in the draft’s top five since taking Hall of Fame center Yao Ming at No. 1 in 2002.
Heading into draft day, the Rockets own selections at No. 2, No. 23, and No. 24 overall. That top pick, which should be made within a few short minutes of the draft’s start time, should land a top rookie prospect such as Jalen Green, Cade Cunningham, or Evan Mobley. All of those players will be in the draft’s green room at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which should allow Houston’s top pick to don a Rockets hat as he takes the stage to shake the hand of league commissioner Adam Silver.
It’s certainly possible that Houston general manager Rafael Stone could make a trade or two, which could alter the exact pick numbers. But no matter what, the odds are that at least one highly touted prospect will be joining the Rockets on Thursday — and possibly more than that. Coming off a 2020-21 season in which Houston finished with the NBA’s worst record, it’s an landmark day as Stone looks to obtain what could potentially be a franchise centerpiece for the post-James Harden era.
Here’s when and how you should watch:
Date: Thursday, July 29
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT
TV Channel: ESPN, ABC
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free) or via Watch ESPN, with active subscription
The complete 2021 NBA draft order is available here. Heading into Thursday, Houston does not own any second-round picks.
Note: This post first appeared on Rockets Wire. Follow us on Facebook!
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