3. Does the trade open up more options for the Spurs at the Draft?
The Houston Rockets have been in asset compilation mode for a while now, and this move suggests that's far from over. The acquisition of pick No. 26 gives them three first-round picks, which has them tied with the Spurs for the most.
As Rockets beat writer Kelly Iko expressed after the trade, the move "opens up more wiggle room (subscription required) and arms GM Rafael Stone with more weapons." As he states, Houston could be looking to move up further in the NBA Draft by packaging picks 17 and 26 -- something we've discussed the Spurs may look to do with picks 20 and 25.
What this trade also does is pretty much shut down any chances of San Antonio trading up with the Rockets for the 3rd pick -- something we've always believed was a long shot but still explored. With a hole in their frontcourt, it's widely expected that Houston will use that pick for Paolo Banchero (or Chet Holmgren if the Thunder pull a bait-and-switch.)
Might Houston want to try moving up for San Antonio's 9th pick? Maybe, but it's unlikely they'll have anything tempting enough for the Spurs to bite. Don't expect another Texas-sized trade to happen with a division rival anytime soon.