Rockets Notes: Nnaji, Oturu, Silas, Unseld

The Rockets are currently the only team that doesn’t hold a pick in the 2020 NBA draft, but the club has been doing its homework on prospects from this year’s draft class. According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), Zeke Nnaji and Daniel Oturu are among the prospects that Houston has either interviewed already or plans to interview.

Nnaji and Oturu are the 35th and 36th overall prospects on ESPN’s 2020 big board, so it’s possible that the Rockets are exploring the idea of trading into the second round — Wolfson suggests he wouldn’t be surprised if Daryl Morey contacts old friend Gersson Rosas, whose Timberwolves hold the No. 33 overall pick.

Still, the Rockets may very well just be doing their due diligence on the players entering the league this year so that there are no gaps in their scouting reports. Even if they don’t acquire a pick in this year’s draft, the Rockets will likely have an opportunity at some point down the road to trade for or sign players from the 2020 class, so it makes sense for the club to take advantage of its present opportunity to get to know some of those prospects.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Within his latest mailbag, Kelly Iko of The Athletic explores which Rockets players might be trade candidates this offseason and which free agents the club could realistically target.
  • In a separate article for The Athletic, as part of his ongoing look at several of the candidates for the Rockets’ head coaching job, Kelly Iko evaluates the merits of a pair of assistants, Stephen Silas and Wes Unseld Jr. According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (via Twitter), Unseld’s previously-reported interview with the team has now taken place. Silas has reportedly met with the Rockets as well.
  • In case you missed it, we also relayed earlier today that former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson and Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool have interviewed for the Rockets’ head coaching position.
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