Final predictions for the Houston Rockets’ three picks

With the #3 pick in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets are…almost around the clock.

The 2022 draft is arguably the most exciting date in this calendar year for Rockets fans, who should see their team pick a key piece – likely Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren or Duke’s Paolo Banchero – to pair with last year’s top rookie, Galen Green.

The Rockets (20-62) finished last season with the worst record in the league, and while fans enjoyed the growth and development shown by young players like Green, Alperin Sejon and Kevin Porter Jr, the biggest return from such an extension. Loss run on the night of the draw.

But wait there is more! Houston has other first-round picks at 17th (via Brooklyn) and 26th (via Dallas), which were acquired through a James Harden trade in January 2021 and a Christian Wood trade last week. It remains to be seen if Raphael Stone, the Rockets’ general manager, will keep all of those choices or execute a deal, but it’s a solid place to start.

So, what will be the payoff for the fans? We’ll know for sure on Thursday, June 23. But going, here’s what they expect from the various NBA draft experts over Houston in their final mock drafts of the season.

Predictions No. 3 in 2022 first round

Photo by David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Givoni, ESPN (6/21), no. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Sam Vicini, Athlete (6/21), No. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Brian Kalbrowski, for the win (6/21), No. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

NBADraft.net (6/21), No. 3: Chet Holmgren
(Gonzaga: Senior, freshman, 7-1)

Jeremy Wu, Sports Illustrated (6/20), No. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Kristen Beck, Yahoo! Sport (6/20), no. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Cody Taylor, Rookie Wire (6/20), No. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer (6/17), no. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle (6/16), No. 3: Paolo Banchero
(Duke: forward, freshman, 6-10)

Predictions No. 17 in 2022 first round

Photo by James Snook, USA Today Sports

Jonathan Jevoney, ESPN (6/21), No. 17: Tari Eason
(LSU: Forward, Sophomore, 6-8)

Sam Vicini, Athlete (6/21), No. 17: Tare Eason
(LSU: Forward, Sophomore, 6-8)

Brian Kalbrowski, for the win (6/21), No. 17: Margonne Beauchamp
(Ignite: Wing, G League, 6-7)

NBADraft.net (6/21), No. 17: Tae Tae Washington
(Kentucky: ranger, freshman, 6-3)

Jeremy Wu, Sports Illustrated (6/20), No. 17: Tari Eason
(LSU: Forward, Sophomore, 6-8)

Kristen Beck, Yahoo! Sports (6/20), No. 17: Galen Williams
(Santa Clara: Wing, Junior, 6-6)

Cody Taylor, Rookie Wire (6/20), No. 17: Galen Williams
(Santa Clara: Wing, Junior, 6-6)

Kevin O’Connor, The Ranger (6/17), No. 17: Galen Williams
(Santa Clara: Wing, Junior, 6-6)

Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle (6/16), No. 17: Galen Williams
(Santa Clara: Wing, Junior, 6-6)

26 predictions overall in the first round of 2022

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Jevonne, ESPN (6/21), No. 26: Margonne Beauchamp
(Ignite: Wing, G League, 6-7)

Sam Vecenie, Athlete (6/21), No. 26: MarJon Beauchamp
(Ignite: Wing, G League, 6-7)

Brian Kalbrowsky, for the win (6/21), #26: Kennedy Chandler
(Tennessee: ranger, freshman, 6-1)

NBADraft.net (6/21), #26: Walker Kessler
(Auburn: Senior, Junior, 7-1)

Jeremy Wu, Sports Illustrated (6/20), No. 26: Nikola Jovic
(Megabasket: Wing, Global, 6-10)

Kristen Beck, Yahoo! Sport (6/20), no. 26: Margon Beauchamp
(Ignite: Wing, G League, 6-7)

Cody Taylor, Rookie Wire (6/20), #26: Caleb Houstan
(Michigan: Wing, Freshman, 6-8)

Kevin O’Connor, The Ranger (6/17), #26: Jaden Hardy
(Ignite: Keeper, League G, 6-4)

Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle (6/16), No. 26: Margonne Beauchamp
(Ignite: Wing, G League, 6-7)

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