How Rockets representative Sam Strantz brought good-luck charm to 2024 NBA draft lottery

In recent non-playoff years, it’s generally been Clay Allen — general counsel for the Rockets — who represents Houston at the NBA draft lottery. In that capacity, he is one of a select few people who is physically in the room where the lottery drawings take place.

In 2024, however, Allen had a conflict and wasn’t able to attend. In his place, the Rockets sent Sam Strantz, associate legal counsel.

From there, despite having only a 20% chance at securing one of the four lottery picks, the Rockets defied the odds and landed the No. 3 overall first-round selection (via Brooklyn). It’s the fourth consecutive year in which Houston has won a lottery pick — the first three with Allen, and now one with Strantz at much worse odds.

The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov was one of a small handful of media members in the room. Of Strantz and the Rockets, he reports:

Sam Strantz, the Rockets’ associate legal counsel, was Houston’s representative inside the lottery room, and he brought some good luck with him. He brought the beanie that his son, Sawyer, wore in the hospital when he was born two months ago.

Before entering, in-room representatives are required to turn over all electronic devices so that they cannot communicate the lottery results until they are announced on stage (and broadcast on live television) later in the day. Thus, many bring non-digital artifacts.

In 2025, the Rockets own the fully unprotected right to swap first-round picks with the Nets (32-50) — which could give them yet a chance to go five-for-five in draft-lottery wins this decade.

Whether it’s Allen or Strantz, Houston seems to have luck on its side.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire