HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets didn’t have a pick in the NBA draft for the second straight year after trading away a selection they had added earlier in the week.
The Rockets were scheduled to pick at No. 16 after trading Robert Covington to Portland for Trevor Ariza and the pick. Instead, the Rockets agreed to trade Ariza and that pick to the Detroit Pistons for a future first-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because the trade had not been announced.
Houston’s quiet draft night comes during an offseason of upheaval for the team. Coach Mike D’Antoni decided not to return when his contract expired following Houston’s loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals and general manager Daryl Morey stepped down last month before quickly taking a job with the 76ers.
The Rockets picked Stephen Silas as their new coach and promoted long-time front office employee Rafael Stone to general manager.
Since then, rumors have swirled that stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook are unhappy and looking to get out of Houston. Management has not commented on their status, but both players remain under contract for two more seasons, with player options in 2022-23.
The Rockets haven’t had a first-round pick since they took Sam Dekker with the 18th overall selection in 2015.
AP Sports Writer Noah Trister contributed to this report.
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