Southwest Notes: Stone, Rockets Draft, Van Gundy, Grizzlies Pick

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone is being coy with how he’ll approach the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and even hinted he’d be open to trading it, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. However, Stone does seem excited about adding a cornerstone to his roster. “The goal is to find a star player,” he said. “When you bring in young players especially, you’re really looking for star potential. I wouldn’t use the word ‘expect.’ I don’t want to put that pressure on a player. I do think we’re likely to get somebody really, really talented if we pick the pick.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Unless the Pistons do something surprising, Cade Cunningham will be off the board when the Rockets make their first of three first-round picks. Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs are the top candidates to be the No. 2 pick and Evan Young of the Houston Chronicle breaks down those players.
  • Stan Van Gundy was one-and-done as the Pelicans‘ head coach, while Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year in his first season with the Knicks. The fact that the Knicks’ top players bought in to Thibodeau’s style and schemes while the Pelicans’ young core didn’t do the same with their veteran coach led to Van Gundy’s demise, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. The Knicks also had more experienced players on their roster than the Pelicans, another reason why Van Gundy failed and Thibodeau thrived.
  • Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu and Oregon wing Chris Duarte are among the players the Grizzlies could target with the No. 17 overall pick, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Barnes takes a look at five players who might be a fit with the current roster.
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