Houston Rockets NBA Draft Odds: Is Jalen Green Headed to Houston?
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Green #4 of Team Ignite and Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets.
- The Houston Rockets will have the No. 2 pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft.
- Michael Walton breaks down the Rockets' needs and lists the odds for the prospects who could fall in that range.
Houston Rockets (17-55)
Picks: 2, 23, 24
|Draft Prospects||Odds to Go No. 2 (via BetMGM)|
The Houston Rockets just went through what could certainly be called an eventful season. Former franchise star James Harden forced his way out of Houston and was traded to the Brooklyn Nets by early January.
Houston was left with veterans John Wall and Christian Wood mixing in with a collection of unheralded young players such as Jae’Sean Tate (who made the All-Rookie team). Despite the eventual emergence of young player Kevin Porter Jr., the Rockets finished 17-55, the worst record in the league.
It isn’t super shocking that a team built around a singular player became completely ineffective without said player. First-year head coach Stephen Silas certainly did as much he could with a talent-strapped roster.
Heading into the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery, the Rockets were extremely nervous as their pick was top-four protected, or else it would have conveyed to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lottery luck landed the Rockets the second overall pick in a top-heavy draft, allowing the Rockets to (theoretically) land their next franchise star.
The team turned in a porous performance on both sides of the ball, though their defense did show some fight late in the regular season.
At this point in their rebuild (the beginning), the Rockets front office should be looking for the best player available regardless of position. That being said, it should be noted that the presence of John Wall and his large contract could make looking at a big man or wing more likely.
NBA Draft Needs
- Offensive Engine: The Rockets had the fourth-worst offensive rating in the league, putting up 107 points per 100 possessions. Wall and Porter had to do most of the heavy lifting, which made Eric Gordon an ineffective third option. A rookie who could handle a high usage rate wouldn’t solve all their problems, but it would certainly go a long way in accelerating their rebuild.
- All-Around Big: Houston has obvious holes all over the roster but the lack of production at the center spot was especially noteworthy. Throughout the 2021 season, the Rockets relied on Christian Wood and little else behind him, as he was the only big to play at least 1,000 minutes for Stephen Silas.