In the draft lottery, the team with the worst record may feel snubbed if they receive the third pick rather than the top selection. Some years, just two spots can make the difference between an All-NBA potential talent and a solid contributing role player.

However, this year isn’t like most years. There is a surplus of talent in this year’s pool and multiple teams antsy to improve their position, meaning the Houston Rockets’ front office can be confident after the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery awarded them with the third selection.

The Rockets have two general routes they can take. They can stay put at third and allow the top two teams to make the choice for them, selecting who remains of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero after picks 1 and 2. Otherwise, Houston can use the pick and other assets gathered in the process of its rebuild to gather more picks and prospects or bring in an already established player.

Houston GM Rafael Stone told the media he’s open to moving the pick, so there is reason to believe a trade could become a reality. Here are the three best Rockets trades using the No. 3 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

 

1. Move back to Trailblazers pick, stock up on future assets

It’s no secret that Portland Trailblazers have struggled in recent seasons, with 2022 being the worst in nearly two decades. After moving on from core pieces in C.J. McCollum, Robert Covington and Norman Powell this past trade deadline, Portland is essentially working with an empty slate to rebuild around star Damian Lillard.

That in mind, the Trailblazers won’t go very far with the seventh overall pick, which they landed in the lottery Tuesday. Portland won’t be able to select a franchise changing talent that far back. Houston might be able to entice the Blazers front office into moving up for a more valuable asset in exchange for future picks, and possibly the services of young talent Anfernee Simons.