There's no hiding the intention of the Houston Rockets to put themselves in the best possible position to win the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. It is the biggest reason behind the Rockets' 50-loss season. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is aware of how losing can get rewarded in the NBA in the form of a better chance to win high picks but also dropped a subtle warning about the risks of getting used to such a win-averse environment.
“It’s very easy to build bad habits. But habits are hard to break. You build bad habits and it kind of becomes who you are,” Draymond Green said after the Warriors scored a rare road win Monday night (h/t Michael Shapiro of Chron). “It’s important to try to play the right way.”
The Rockets have lost at least 50 games for three seasons in a row now. After going 17-55 in the 2020-21 campaign, Houston got the No. 2 pick and used it to take Jalen Green. The following season, the Rockets subjected their fans to a horrendous 20-62 stretch before getting Jabari Smith Jr. third overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. This season, the Rockets could end up losing 60 games again. The end game here for the Rockets is Victor Wembanyama, the French ultra-unicorn that is set to arrive in the NBA this year via the draft.
It's one thing to win win the right to select first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft and it's a completely different one to develop the assets acquired with the help of excessive losing into a cohesive group that behaves and plays like winners — just like Draymond Green and the dynastic Warriors.