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Rockets GM Rafael Stone Open To Trading No. 3 Pick At Right Price

Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone will not rule out the possibility of trading the No. 3 overall pick following the results of the draft lottery.
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HOUSTON — The city of Houston has a pair of general managers who are open to anything in hopes of enhancing their inferior teams.

Two months before the 2022 NFL Draft, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio was open to trading the No. 3 pick. But the franchise ultimately opted for the latter by drafting defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. from LSU.

Three weeks since Stingley's arrival, the Bayou City received another No. 3 draft pick.

The Rockets came out of the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery with the third overall selection. According to ESPN, Houston is likely to take Duke forward Pablo Banchero — the player a source told Rockets Insider the franchise is interested in acquiring.

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General manager Rafael Stone said the top objective is to add to the roster by selecting the best player available at No. 3. But there is a chance Stone could discover the most suitable player through a trade.

"I will not block them out," Stone said following the results of the draft lottery Tuesday evening. "I am always available to talk. If there are teams interested in the pick, then we are always available to talk. And if there is something that makes sense for both teams, something will get done."

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Stone's philosophy as a general manager is to be open to every scenario when revamping Houston's roster, and his perspective will not change.

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The Rockets could have several teams calling to express their interest in the No. 3 overall pick that could approximate Stone's desires to find a cornerstone player. The possibility of executing a trade will depend on how valuable the opposing team views the pick and potential target. 

The Indiana Pacers are a team that could be a trade option for the Rockets after a disappointing start to the 2021-22 campaign jumpstarted their rebuild.

The Pacers do not have a potential cornerstone player within their organization at the helm of their rebuild and could express the desire to move up in the draft.

A deal with Indiana could result in the Rockets trading the No. 3 pick for the Pacers' sixth overall selection and versatile big man Myles Turner. Turner is one of several players who could be on the move this offseason via trade.