HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets and the NBA represent a constantly-in-motion thing... and Inside the Rockets, powered by Sports Illustrated, is here to chronicle it for you - news and rumors from H-Town and beyond concerning the NBA Draft...
JUNE 9 NBA RELEASE FIRST SET OF GREEN ROOM INVITES:
The NBA released the first of 10 prospects invited to the green room during the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23. According to ESPN, Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith headline the first set of prospects expected to be in attendance inside the Barclays Center.
With the top overall selection at pick No. 1 are the Orlando Magic, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets with the second and third selections.
JUNE 6 TARI EASON REVEALS WORKOUT WITH ROCKETS:
Tari Eason's draft stock exploded during the 2021-22 college basketball season as a member of the LSU Tigers. Eason has several teams interested in acquiring his services during the 2022 NBA Draft, and the Houston Rockets are one of many.
As first reported by The Athletic, Eason revealed that he has a pre-draft workout scheduled with the Rockets. Eason averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds during his sophomore year at LSU.
JUNE 2 ROCKETS SCHEDULED WORKOUTS WITH SEVERAL PLAYERS:
The NBA Draft is less than a month away, and the Houston Rockets are doing their due diligence. According to The Athletic, the Rockets have scheduled five workouts for some of the most intriguing prospects.
Houston has scheduled workouts with MarJon Beauchamp, Kendall Brown, Kennedy Chandler, Michael Foster Jr., and Nikola Jovic.
JUNE 1 ROCKETS MEET WITH KENDALL BROWN:
NBA Draft prospect Kendall Brown is currently in Houston and could be in line for a workout with the Rockets, per a report.
The 6-foot-8, 205-pound wing averaged 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while averaging 58 percent from the field.
MAY 23 ROCKETS MEET WITH EURO PROSPECT NIKOLA JOVIC:
The Houston Rockets will have two darts to throw at the board in the upcoming NBA Draft at No. 3 and No. 17. While No. 3 seems like a sure bet between the top three prospects on the board, No. 17 is a far more intriguing discussion.
One player the Rockets could be taking a look at is Serbian star prospect Nikola Jovic, who met with the team at the NBA Draft combine over the weekend.
In the 202-21 season, the 19 year old averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc for KK Mega Bemax in Belgrade.
Jovic reportedly met with over half of the NBA teams at the combine, and is a rising, albeit raw prospect worth monitoring.
MAY 20 ROCKETS MEET BANCHERO:
No matter where they landed in the top-5 of the 2022 NBA Draft order the Houston Rockets have long been connected with Duke star Paolo Banchero, and on Friday, another domino fell in the process.
According to reports, Banchero officially met with the Rockets, confirming the team's interest in the versatile scoring forward.
Banchero was the best player on a Duke team that made its first Final Four in seven years. 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 is also thought to be arguably the best fit in the draft for the Rockets, with his game complimenting both Stephen Silas' system and Jalen Green's playstyle as well as any other lottery prospect.
MAY 17 ROCKETS LOSE TWO ASSISTANT COACHES: A pair of assistant coaches departed from the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. As first reported by Fox 26 News in Houston, assistant coaches Jeff Hornacek and Will Weaver will not return to the Rockets staff for the 2022-23 season.
Hornacek and Weaver joined the Rockets' coaching staff in 2020 following the hiring of Stephen Silas.
Hornacek's two-year stint was his first assistant coaching job since working under Tyrone Corbin with the Utah Jazz from 2011-2013. He held two head coaching jobs with the Phoenix Suns (2013-2016) and the New York Knicks (2016-2018). Hornacek has posted a coaching record of 161-216.
Weaver joined Silas' staff as an assistant after finishing as runner-up for the Oklahoma City Thunder head coaching job, which went to Mark Daigneault in 2020.
MAY 12 ROCKETS WORKOUT COLORADO STATE GUARD: The Houston Rockets have hosted Colorado State guard David Roddy for a pre-draft workout.
Roddy, the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year this past season, averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Rams, leading his team to a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Roddy has not hired an agent yet, meaning he can remain college-eligible if he isn't ready to make the jump to the NBA. Roddy has until June 1 to make a decision on whether he will stay in the draft.
MAY 11 NBA COMBINE WILL FEATURE 76 PLAYERS: The NBA revealed a list that featured 76 prospects invited to participate in the league's combine, set from May 16-20 in Chicago — per The Athletic.
Players will have an opportunity to showcase their takes through drills and five-on-five workouts. Prospects hoping to hear their names on draft night will also conduct interviews with NBA teams. The 2022 NBA Draft will take place on June 23 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Although the Houston Rockets might not need to see much when it comes to the top prospects in this draft class, perhaps the combine will help them identify a hidden gem to use the No. 17 pick on. Houston received that pick from the Brooklyn Nets in the James Harden trade.
MAY 9 MONTY WINS COACH OF THE YEAR:
Monty Williams has been named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Phoenix Suns to an NBA-best 64-18 record this season.
Through three seasons with the team, Williams has led the Suns to a .656 winning percentage.
The Suns are currently in the middle of their second consecutive deep playoff run and are looking to clinch their first NBA championship in franchise history.
MAY 9 Nikola Jokic wins second consecutive MVP award: Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets won MVP honors for the 2021-22 season, as first reported by ESPN. Jokic's MVP award was his second in back-to-back seasons. His first came during the 2021 campaign after leading the Nuggets to the third seed of the western conference at 47-25.
In 2022, Jokic led the Nuggets to a 48-34 record without his two best teammates in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Jokic led the Nuggets to the sixth seed this season, where they would lose in five games to the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the playoffs.
Jokic averaged career-highs of 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists across 74 games. He received MVP honors over big men Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo — who finished second and third in the voting.
MAY 8 Kings hire Mike Brown as head coach: The Sacramento Kings hired Mike Brown to take the helm as their new head coach, as first reported by ESPN. Brown, who won Coach of the Year honors in 2009 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has served the previous six seasons as Steve Kerr's assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.
The King's head coaching job will mark the fourth time in Browns' career he served as head coach.
He began his coaching career in 2005 with the Cavaliers before his jettison in 2010. Brown coached one season at the helm for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. After his departure, Brown returned to Cleveland for a brief season in 2014. Brown has notched a career head coaching record of 347-216.
MAY 6 ROY? “We’re thrilled,'' Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said of Jalen Green. "We think that he should be the Rookie of the Year.''
Ignore Bill Simmons 'F' take here ...
Do we buy the Green-as-Roy argument? The league didn't quite agree (Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors is the winner, with Evan Mobley of Cleveland and Cade Cunningham of Detroit as the runners-up) ... Read here.
MAY 6 ROCKETS PLAN AT NO. 1: The Houston Rockets have a great chance of securing a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 17. Here's the maybe-plan from our SI-powered gang in Houston.
MAY 6 MAGIC TO NFL? NBA legend Magic Johnson is entering the massive field of big-name candidates in bidding for the ownership of the Denver Broncos, according to Sportico, joining the bid group being led by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris.
Also working toward owning the Broncos are groups involving people like John Elway, Peyton Manning and Walmart's Rob Walton.
MAY 6 KEMBA TRADE FOR BROGDON? Malcolm Brogdon can run an offense and he can shoot from the perimeter. He could even upgrade the New York defense.
What would be the cost of such a swap? A suggestion here has the Knicks getting Brogdon in exchange for Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and a first-rounder.
MAY 5 COOL HAND LUKA, HOT DRAYMOND: The NBA announced Thursday it has fined the Warriors' Draymond Green $25,000 for flipping off fans in Memphis during Tuesday’s Western Conference playoff matchup.
As the Golden State forward entered the locker room in the first quarter Tuesday night in order to get stitches for a right eye laceration, he held up two middle fingers in response to being booed by fans. And after the game ...
"You gonna boo someone who was elbowed in the eye and face is running with blood, you should get flipped off," Green said. "I'll take the fine. I'll do an appearance and make up the money. It felt really good to flip them off. ... If they are going to be that nasty, I will be nasty, too. I'm assuming the cheers were because they know I'll be fined. Great, I make $25 million a year. I should be just fine."
Fine. And fined.
The NBA Playoffs are physical. Ask the Dallas Mavs' Luka Doncic, who is averaging 40 points per game against the Suns, who are up 2-0 while trying to beat up Doncic, who has a responsibility - despite his rep of getting cross-ways with the refs - of being Cool Hand Luka when it comes to T's.
MAY 4 TYTY TIME: Tankathon conducted its latest mock and has the Knicks adding the point guard from Kentucky with the No. 11 overall pick - TyTy Washington. Sensible? Read here.
MAY 3 WHAT'S A DONOVAN DEAL LOOK LIKE? So what exactly does a feasible trade package for Utah's Donovan Mitchell look like? Most trade hauls for young star players include some combination of picks, young prospects or other winning pieces depending on how much of a rebuild is being planned for. Here’s what we’re thinking ...
MAY 3: PHIL'S BACK? Phil Jackson, at age 76, is no longer the coach. But the storied career of the former New York Knicks player, most certainly as a head coach, makes him uniquely qualified to help with the Lakers search ...
And his relationship with Jeanie Buss, a prominent member of the Lakers ownership family, probably makes it a nice fit as well.
MAY 2 THE BRUNSON OBSTACLE: The New York Knicks will not have the Dallas Mavericks' help if they want a Jalen Brunson sign-and-trade. The view from the Mavs' side is here.