2023 NBA mock draft roundup: Potential Houston Rockets picks entering February

As February 2023 approaches, the bad news for general manager Rafael Stone, head coach Stephen Silas, and a young Houston Rockets team is that they currently own the NBA’s worst record.

The good news is that led by the likes of Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, the 2023 draft class is widely viewed as a strong one, and Stone and the Rockets are slated to have full control of their own pick once this year’s draft takes place on Thursday, June 22.

They also have a first-round selection headed their way from Milwaukee, which is likely to be near the bottom of the round. For playoff teams, like the Bucks, draft slot is determined solely by record — whereas for the 14 non-playoff teams, like the Rockets, the top-four picks are determined from a weighted lottery system. From there, the remainder of those top-14 selections are decided by record.

Here’s a roundup of who the various draft experts have going to Houston in recent mock drafts, along with a look at the lottery odds.

2022-23 NBA standings on January 31

Teams within five games of Houston in the standings:

  • 1. Houston, 12-38

  • 2. Detroit, 13-39; .250 win clip to Houston’s .240

  • 3. San Antonio, 14-37, 1.5 games back (GB)

  • 4. Charlotte, 15-36, 2.5 GB

The bottom-three teams have identical odds of landing a top-four pick in the May 16 draft lottery. However, there is a difference in the “floor” scenarios for those franchises. The team with the worst record cannot fall below No. 5 in the first-round order, whereas the second-worst team can drop to as low as No. 6, and so on and so forth.

Draft lottery odds, if Rockets finish with worst record

  • No. 1: 14.0%

  • No. 2: 13.4%

  • No. 3: 12.7%

  • No. 4: 12.0%

  • No. 5: 47.9%

(pick odds via Tankathon)

Projections for Houston’s own 2023 first-round pick

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images

Check out Tankathon’s latest 2023 NBA draft big board for statistics and additional information on these prospects and beyond.

Keep in mind that some of these slot projections (i.e. No. 1 overall) are based simply on current records, while others are compiled based on a draft lottery simulation. Click on the direct link to each of these mock drafts for specific details regarding their methodology.

Projections for Houston’s 2023 first-round pick via Milwaukee

Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While none of these selections are based on draft lottery simulations (since the Bucks are virtually certain to be in the 2023 playoffs), there is still some slight variance in first-round slot projections based on the exact date of each mock draft and the standings at that time.

Check out Tankathon’s complete 2023 NBA draft big board for statistics and additional information on these prospects and beyond.

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire