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Christian Wood likes Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey as potential draft pick for Rockets

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Heading into 2022-23, the Houston Rockets will have second-year big men Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba ready for bigger roles, and they appear likely to draft a power forward at No. 3 in the 2022 first round.

If the roster stays as is, that could present a minutes crunch, with some frontcourt players undoubtedly receiving less minutes than they expect. But for incumbent starting center Christian Wood, who wants more wins next season, he doesn’t appear threatened by more competition.

In an interview after Wood threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Wednesday’s Houston Astros baseball game, the 26-year-old big man made it clear that he embraced the idea of adding more depth to the frontcourt, and he mentioned Duke forward Paolo Banchero by name.

“A lot of big man talent, for sure,” Christian Wood said of the 2022 NBA draft and potential options for the Rockets at No. 3 overall. “I like (Paolo) Banchero, I like (Jaden) Ivey. I like a few guys. Hopefully we get a good guy. I know the front office will choose the best guy they can.”

Wood delivered those comments to AT&T SportsNet Southwest reporter Julia Morales during an interview on the Astros’ game broadcast.

Wood is under contract with Houston for only one more year, though he said in earlier comments Wednesday that he is open to discussing a potential extension. It remains to be seen how (or if) the looming first-round selections on Thursday, June 23 will play into the team’s thinking.

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