Before Wednesday, the Rockets’ future belonged to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has two first-round swap rights and two protected top-five picks until 2026, making it a stray on Houston’s impending rebuilding.
But by trading James Harden to the Nets for a strong drawback, the Rockets began to escape from the corner they had been locked in. They could soon have years of multiple lottery picks, a possibility that wasn’t on the table before the blockbuster Harden.
Houston never wanted to lose their best player, but under the circumstances, the deal was probably needed to start a youth movement. The team also received Victor Oladipo on an expiring contract in the four-team Harden contract by returning Caris LeVert to Indiana.
Here’s what the Rockets have to work with until 2026.
Rockets draft pick after James Harden trade
Here’s the full list of future first-round draft picks that now belong to the Rockets:
|Year||First-round draft pick (s)|
|2021||Possess if in the top 4 or the worst of the order with MIA and OKC (with option to exchange with BKN) + DET pick if outside the top 16 + POR pick if outside the top 14|
|2022||Own + DET choice if outside the top 16 * + POR choice if outside the top 14 * + BKN selection + MIL selection|
|2023||Possess with option of exchange with BKN + DET pick if outside the top 18 * + POR if pick if outside the top 14 * + WAS pick if outside the top 14|
|2024||Possess if in the top 5 + choice BKN + choice DET if outside the top 18 * + choice POR if outside the top 14 * + choice WAS if outside the top 12 *|
|2025||Own if inside the top 10 with option to exchange with BKN + OKC pick if the own is outside the top 10 + DET pick if outside the top 13 * + POR pick if outside the top 14 * + WAS pick if out of the top 10 *|
* No selection if direct debit previously transmitted
What draft picks did the Rockets get for James Harden?
The Rockets received Brooklyn’s first round in 2022, 2024, and 2026, Milwaukee’s first round in 2022 (via Brooklyn), and four future prime exchange options with Brooklyn.