The Rockets are loaded with picks, projects and heaps of patience

Jun 23, 2022

HOUSTON — Christian Wood keeps swishing 3-pointers and smiling, the skilled big man showing off his shooting range and seemingly responding whenever the other team gets within striking distance.

It’s June 13, and Game 5 of the NBA Finals tips off in eight hours, but metaphorically, this pickup game takes place as far as possible from the two cities hosting the league’s championship series.

The location: the practice gym inside the Toyota Center, home to the Houston Rockets, the franchise that has won an NBA-worst 37 games over the past two seasons.

Eric Gordon — the lone player remaining on the Rockets’ roster from the time before they launched into a rebuild — is feeding Wood for some of these 3s. The duo has been a staple at weekday morning voluntary workouts, which routinely feature more than half of the Rockets’ roster and some players from their G League affiliate,