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Rockets trying to use James Harden trade assets to acquire another lottery pick

Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone and head coach Stephan Silas

The Houston Rockets have been occupying the top headlines ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft. Now, they may be looking to make a blockbuster trade for another lottery pick.

As of late, the Rockets have been showing a growing interest in trading for the Detroit Pistons’ No.1 overall pick in the draft in order to select former Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham. However, as the Rockets are not one star away from becoming a perennial playoff contender, they are aiming to add another top-14 pick in the upcoming draft.

As noted by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Rockets are looking to package their No.23 and No.24 overall picks in the upcoming draft along with some of the assets garnered in the notable James Harden trade in order to trade for a lottery pick. The Rockets acquired the No.23 overall pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in last November’s Robert Covington trade and hauled in the No.24 overall pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in the notable PJ Tucker move.

More so, the Houston Rockets offloaded Harden for a package featuring three first-round picks and four first-round picks swaps.

As Givony adds, the Rockets have so far been “rebuffed” in their attempts to acquire another lottery pick.

The Rockets have not been throwing in the towel in such attempts but remain adamant about acquiring another lottery pick to bolster their roster.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania further notes that the Rockets front office has “looked” into packaging Eric Gordon and their pair of late first-round picks for a top-14 pick in the draft. Gordon currently has three more years remaining on his current deal with Houston and is set to earn at least $18 million+ in each season.

Houston has already proposed such an offer to one team, as one recent report added that the Rockets reached out to the Indiana Pacers to offer Gordon and the No.23 overall pick in the draft for their No.13 overall pick. It is not yet known as to the extent of the Pacers’ interest in this potential deal.

The Rockets have plenty of time to acquire another lottery pick, especially as the draft is four days away.