The Houston Rockets reached out to the Orlando Magic about a trade up once they were convinced Paolo Banchero would be selected at No. 1, sources told ESPN.
For weeks, Jabari Smith was mocked to go to the Magic at No. 1, followed by Chet Holmgren to the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 2, and Banchero to the Rockets at No. 3.
"We didn't know [Orlando was taking Banchero] until 10 minutes before the draft," Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said.
"I didn't hear from the Magic telling me for sure until a few minutes before," said Mike Miller, Banchero's agent.
The Rockets wouldn't have made an offer if they were certain Smith would slide to them at No. 3. Houston was concerned about having to make a decision on Holmgren without time to process his medical information.
"When [the odds] shifted, we noted it," Stone said. "If people are willing to put their money on it, especially when you see a big swing like that, it feels like maybe somebody knows something."
Houston hadn't met with Smith before the draft, though they'd done extensive scouting and research on him.
The Magic listened to the offer from the Rockets but firmly passed. The discussion was brief and the Magic were clear a deal was highly unlikely.
The Magic ultimately called in their selections well ahead of the five-minute time limit, which didn't give them an offer to hear any last minute offers.