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What Should Rockets Do With Top Draft Pick? ESPN Expert Explains

The Houston Rockets have a great chance of securing a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 17.

With the NBA Draft Lottery less than two weeks away, the Houston Rockets are getting closer to finding out their destiny with the infamous ping-pong balls at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Although Houston had a league-worst record of 20-62, it will have a 14 percent chance of securing the top pick in the draft along with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons. Even if the Rockets don't end up with the No. 1 pick, they'll still have a 40 percent chance of landing a pick anywhere in the top-3... But for those doing the simple math at home, though, that also means Houston has a 60 percent chance of falling out of the top-3.

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Earlier this week, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony gave his take on what he believes the Rockets should do in the draft based on whether they end up with the top pick or potentially fall below that top-3 mark.

"The Rockets would surely be excited to add any of the elite frontcourt players projected at the top in (Chet) Holmgren, (Jabari) Smith or (Paolo) Banchero," said Givony when talking about what Houston should do if it gets the No. 1 overall pick. 

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"You could make an argument that each of them is an ideal fit considering their strengths. ... Holmgren gets the nod here in my view as the most talented player in the draft, as well as having the most potential to impact the Rockets' defense, which ranked last in the NBA last year, as no other team gave up more points in the paint last season."

And if the basketball gods decide to give the Rockets a pick outside the top-3, Givony believes Houston should take either Jaden Ivey (SG, Purdue) or Keegan Murray (PF, Iowa).

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"The prospect of pairing Ivey with Jalen Green in the backcourt is one the Rockets will have to closely study in this scenario. They'd form, arguably, the most explosive backcourt in the NBA with their transition-scoring prowess, ability to powerfully beat opponents off the dribble and highlight-reel finishing operating above the rim," said Givony.

"Murray is also someone the Rockets will surely look at. As the best player in college basketball last season, he presents perhaps the most straightforward path back to respectability as a plug-and-play, soon-to-be 22-year-old power forward with elite scoring instincts and a complete all-around game."

No matter what happens in the lottery – which commences on May 17 – the Rockets are sure to end up with another very talented, exciting prospect to pair with Green and the rest of their young roster. Rebuilds can be a long process, but Houston is well on its way to brighter basketball days.