Report: NBA sources don’t expect Rockets to trade down from No. 2

·2 min read

While Rockets general manager Rafael Stone has made it clear that trading the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA draft is a possibility, it doesn’t seem likely that any such deal would involve moving down in the order.

The focus for Houston is adding elite talent to the roster, rather than depth. As such, any serious trade talks are much more likely to involve established star players, or perhaps even a move up to Detroit’s No. 1 pick to acquire consensus top prospect Cade Cunningham.

John Hollinger, formerly an NBA executive and currently a senior columnist covering the league for The Athletic, explains in his latest column that Stone and the Rockets aren’t likely to trade back. After attending the recent draft combine in Chicago, Hollinger writes:

The chances of Detroit trading down seem minimal, and my spies were equally skeptical of Houston (at No. 2) and Cleveland (at No. 3) looking to move back in return for multiple picks.

The 2021 draft appears to have a clear top tier of potential All-Star talents, Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs, which adds to the lure of having an extremely high selection this year.

For now, the Rockets will go through their pre-draft workouts and interviews leading up to July 29 as if they will stick at No. 2 in the first round. If that changes, a move for depth isn’t likely to be the reason.

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