The NBA Lottery has come and gone, and the Houston Rockets have now officially been assigned their Draft selections.
And despite missing out on the top pick to the Orlando Magic, the Rockets will still have plenty of talent to choose from at No. 3, in what is one of the deeper drafts in recent years.
Not to mention, thanks to the James Harden trade to Brooklyn, the Rockets also hold a second first-round pick at No. 17, giving them another opportunity to add talent around Jalen Green and their young core.
On Tuesday following the lottery selections, ESPN released a full two-round mock draft, with the Rockets adding two talented bodies to the front country in Duke forward Pablo Banchero, and LSU forward Tari Eason.
The Rockets do not currently have a second-round pick.
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The Rockets drafted a franchise building block in Jalen Green last year and will now likely look to improve their frontcourt, which happens to be the strength of this class. Banchero's ability to create offense off the dribble both for himself and teammates should pair well with the explosive transition scoring and shot-making ability Green offers. Banchero could start next to a more traditional big man, such as Alperen Sengun, or operate alongside another perimeter-oriented big man, like Christian Wood, making Banchero a strong fit for the Rockets long term.
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The Rockets are early in their rebuilding and will likely be looking to take swings on talent and upside, as they don't appear to be particularly close to contention. Eason is one of the most explosive and productive players in the draft, putting consistent pressure on opposing defenses with his quick first step, physicality and insatiable intensity, characteristics that allow him to live at the free throw line. These same traits helped make him one of the most versatile defenders in the college game, a magnet for steals, blocks and rebounds who flew all over the floor in LSU's suffocating press while rotating from guarding point guards to big men.
Despite missing out on the No. 1 pick, the Rockets are still a good bet to land Banchero, who averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, while hitting 47.8 percent of his shots from the floor in his lone season at Duke.
Meanwhile, Easton, who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 218 points, is also an intriguing talent, averaging 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per contest in his lone season with LSU. He also hit 52.1 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three.
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