2012 NBA Mock Draft: Will The Houston Rockets Trade A First-Round Pick?

The Houston Rockets entered the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery with the smallest chance of gaining the first overall pick, and since numbers never lie, they finished at 14th overall, giving the franchise two first round picks (thanks to a 2009 trade with the New York Knicks) fairly close to one another. That's enough for some analysts to think Houston will deal one of their picks in the upcoming Draft.

Yahoo Sports and Draft Express project the Rockets will take North Carolina center Tyler Zeller at No. 14 (the same projection they before the Lottery Wednesday night), and possibly deal their No. 18 pick, if they don't add to their backcourt with Washington guard Terrence Ross:

This pick is widely assumed to be in play, as the Rockets don't have any real need for more rookies on their roster, as they already have solid depth at most every position. Ross is talented enough to be drafted much earlier than this, as his combination of prototypical size, athleticism and perimeter shooting makes him easy to plug in on most teams' rotations.

Meanwhile, SB Nation's Tom Ziller updated his mock draft following the lottery, and has Zeller off the board before the Rockets pick at No. 14, selecting Meyers Leonard, a 7-foot center from Illinois.

For more on the NBA Draft, check out SB Nation's NBA page. Houston Rockets news and info can be found at The Dream Shake.

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