The Houston Rockets might not have landed the No. 1 pick in Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery, but they will still have an opportunity to land a major impact player at No. 3.
Among the options for the Rockets will be Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr., and Duke's Paolo Banchero, who are thought to be the top-3 prospects in the class.
And according to college basketball legend, Dick Vitale, who has seen each and every one of the top available players up close and personal, Banchero might be the most NBA-ready of the bunch.
"I LOVE the top 3 PTPERS but to me the most ready physically & skill wise is [Banchero]," Vitale tweeted. "PAOLO BANCHERO is ready today to be an impact rookie. Can score in multiple ways & has the strength to endure the contact in the NBA."
Given how a number of mock drafts have looked in recent weeks, there’s a very good chance the Rockets could end up selecting Banchero with the No. 3 pick.
Banchero was the best player on a Duke team that made its first Final Four in seven years, the longest drought of Coach Mike Krzyzewski's career before he retired at season's end.
He averaged 17.2 points per game to go with 7.8 rebounds in his lone season with the Blue Devils before declaring for the draft. He's projected to be one of the first three players to be selected in this year's draft.
And while he won't get to choose where he wants to go, the Duke forward might prefer Houston out of all his potential destinations.
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