By: Rahat Huq
The Rockets currently own their own first round draft pick, Denver's second round pick, Portland's second round pick, and owe the Knicks their own second round pick. Thus, based on the current standings, were the draft to be held today, the Rockets would be picking 27th, 43rd (via Portland), and 44th (via Denver).
I think it's a safe bet that Daryl Morey will deal at least one of those three picks at the deadline. I cannot see Houston wanting to carry three rookies heading into next year in a season which will, if all else holds steady, carry huge expectations. They possibly might even prefer to deal the first rounder and keep the two second rounders due to salary cap implications. That would depend on Morey's opinion on the depth of this draft. Regardless, the existence of the two second round picks would surely make Morey more agreeable to deal the first round pick.
As an aside: its rather odd that the actuality of NBA trades has not yet caught up to the basketball commentariat's assessment of how things work. The conventional wisdom today is that first round picks are overvalued, yet every trade leak reflects demands of "a first rounder". Similarly, post hoc analysis almost always involves the rationale that if a first round draft pick was procured, the net gain was a positive. Odd.