The Houston Rockets have a chance to add to their young core with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NBA draft. But it appears it will be an instance of addition by subtraction, as one player on the roster reportedly doesn't fit into Houston's future.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported Monday that forward Kenyon Martin Jr. recently approached Rockets management and requested to be traded.
Martin, who will be entering his third year in the NBA next season, is considered a promising prospect who has yet to reach his ceiling. Iko noted that "there's no bad blood" between the two sides, but Martin knows the Rockets might not have space for him in the rotation after the draft.
"The nature of the conversation was candid," Iko wrote. "With the potential moves following Thursday’s draft, the sudden reality is there isn’t as clear of a path to minutes for Martin in the rotation."
The top three prospects in the NBA draft are all frontcourt players. After the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder make their selections, the Rockets will have the chance to pick whoever's left out of Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr., Duke's Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren.
Martin appeared in 79 games last season for Houston and averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.0 minutes. Despite his modest numbers, there appears to be substantial interest in the 21-year-old on the trade market.
"There are a number of teams—playoff contenders included—that have registered interest in Martin in the past, sources said, with his combination of age, athleticism and untapped potential deemed as attractive," Iko stated.