The Houston Rockets hold the third pick in this summer's upcoming draft. Along with the No. 17 pick, if both convey to Houston, that will mark six first-round picks for the Rockets in the past two drafts. But there's another player on the roster the team considers as a lottery pick talent.
Last year's undrafted rookie point guard Daishen Nix worked his way through the G-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers onto a two-way contract and eventually a fully-fledged four-year deal.
"They consider Nix a first-rounder," Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle said on the ClutchFans podcast. "They consider him a lottery pick."
Nix was teammates with Jalen Green in the G-League bubble, coming off the bench in 15 games and averaging 8.8 points per game. He declared as a 19-year-old, but failed to be drafted with one of the 60 picks, becoming an undrafted free agent that the Rockets signed shortly after the draft.
Nix played majority of the season with the Vipers in 2021-22 and was one of the best players in the league, averaging 21.9 points and 7.6 assists per game.
His strong play in the Valley earned him some call-ups to the Rockets in Houston, but he only averaged 3.2 points per game in 24 appearances.
Given Nix's small sample size in the NBA, it's tough to determine how he'll fare with the Rockets. However, given his dominance in the G-League and the fact that he's still 20 years old makes him an intriguing prospect, and had he waited one more year to declare for the draft, maybe he does have an argument to be a lottery pick.
His placement in the draft doesn't matter much anymore, but what does matter is the fact that he's on a team that certainly views him as part of their future.