The 2024 NBA Draft is just about one month away and one team that has a major decision to make is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets used a little bit of draft lottery luck to move up to the No. 3 overall pick. That's incredible fortune for a team that finished with a .500 record of 41-41 and was in the postseason picture for a good part of the regular season.

Because of that, and in conjunction with last offseason's moves, the Rockets are a team that is looking to be a playoff contender and might not want to add yet another young prospect to a roster that is full of them. As the NBA Draft draws near, the Rockets could opt to trade the No. 3 pick for a win-now player as per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Iko reported that at last week's combine, several teams expressed interest in engaging the Rockets for a possible draft day trade for the No. 3 pick. But Iko also reports that despite the Rockets current trajectory, it's not a given that they will end up trading the pick. In fact, Rockets general manager Rafael Stone told Iko that the team would keep the pick if it made sense.

“I don't think there's only one way to develop young players and I don't think there's only one way to build a roster. We definitely would draft someone and bring him into the fold if it made sense,” Stone said. “Because we like our current roster so much, it provides us with more flexibility to explore creative deals of all sorts.”

Iko reports that the Rockets could face a similar situation as last year when they were prepared to trade out of the first round of the NBA Draft. It wasn't until Cam Whitmore was available at No. 20 that they opted to keep the pick. Should someone become available at No. 3 that they think fits their current roster, they'd likely hang on to the pick.

Rockets are looking to make a leap in the Western Conference

Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun (28) and forward Jabari Smith Jr. (10) stand on the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets have not reached the NBA Playoffs since the 2019-20 season when they lost in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Los Angeles Lakers. That team's roster is radically different from the one they have today.

The Rockets have a bevy of young players in Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason and Cam Whitmore that figure to make up their future core. They did a good job adding solid veterans around them in Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green and Dillon Brooks.

The team finished with their best regular season record since that 2019-20 season. It's clear that the goal is to win now and taking a step back next season would be considered a failure. The core of that aforementioned group will be back next season barring any trade as they are all under contract. The only player the team will need to make a decision on is Green as they hold a team option.

It will be interesting to see what the Rockets ultimately end up doing. Do they feel they can net a major impact player by trading the the pick, or do they think they can add a impact guy to their core.