Next week on Tuesday, June 22, the NBA lottery will be taking place at 8:30 P.M. ET. Now, if you’re team’s in the playoffs, currently still fighting for a ring, or even has been eliminated but considered one piece away, this night doesn’t matter much to you. You’re set.
This night is for the 14 teams that have a chance for lottery picks, and the select few that have the right odds for the first overall pick. And, unfortunately, that’s where I come in because thanks to finishing with a league-worst 17-55 record, the Houston Rockets have one of the best odds to win that first pick. But, there is a catch.
Thanks to the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook swap a year ago, the Houston Rockets have the ability to LOSE that pick if it’s not in the top four. And not going to lie, after losing all of these games, and NOT being rewarded with one of these studs, would be a terrible disaster. So, with that being said, let’s see the best options for the Rockets to select from if awarded a top-four pick this Tuesday night.
“With the fourth pick in the NBA draft, the Houston Rockets select…” Jalen Green
Now, if you’re a real deal basketball junkie, then you’ve probably heard of this guy. If not, you’re going to find out soon. Jalen Green made one of the biggest decisions regarding a college route in recent memory. Instead of going to a normal blue blood program such as Duke, Kentucky, or Kansas, Green decided to jump to the G-league for his development.
It had been done before with former five-star recruit R.J. Hampton heading overseas the year prior, but not the G-league. And, he didn’t necessarily dominate either with a “Decent,” 18/4/3 stat line to boot. But, looking at his high school mixtape, you’ll see what makes him so intriguing with his 6’6″ frame, elite athleticism, and smooth offensive repertoire. He was so good in fact that he was the best shooting guard in the entire class, with ESPN even having him as the number one player in the entire country.
The only reason he’s so low is due to the G-league decision. If he went the traditional route to college, the whole world would see who he really is, and Houston fans alike would be salivating over the thought of a Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green pairing.
“With the third pick in the NBA draft, the Houston Rockets select…” Jalen Suggs
Out of all of the options, Suggs is the safest bet due to being groomed well his only season at Gonzaga, where he leads them all the way to the championship game. Highly regarded as a complete all-around player, with the poise and confidence to step in right away and contribute, Jalen, “Jason Kidd with a jumper,” Suggs, would be a great fit in our system due to an extremely high basketball IQ that would allow KPJ more freedom. Quite like the John Wall effect. But honestly even better thanks to an actual jump shot.
“With the second pick in the NBA draft, the Houston Rockets select…” Evan Mobley
Now, most Rockets fans will see this as the easiest explanation of the four; defense. We struggled on that end of the floor like there was no tomorrow, and adding another talented big like Mobley next to Wood would set up our defense for the next five years perfectly from the start, while the two worked together on offense slowly. And if you don’t believe me, just take a look into the way Christian Wood started playing when Olynyk was acquired. Use that, and then some, and then you’d have what you’d be getting with Mobley.
“With the first pick in the NBA draft, the Houston Rockets select…” Cade Cunningham
I mean come on. What is there to say that hasn’t been said? He’s a glorified shot taker and shot maker, and Houston NEEDS those. Besides, looking into the Rockets games more closely, KPJ was clearly worn out at the end when we needed him due to a lack of help alongside. Cade would easily provide that help; simple as that.
Look, all in all, the Rockets have options to choose from. They can get their anchor in Mobley to solve the defensive issues. They could get an athletic freak to pair with KPJ and just run, run, and run in Green. They can be safe, and get a true floor general to run the offense and maybe open up KPJ’s development a bit with Suggs. Or they can just get the offensive weapon in Cunningham.
It all honestly depends, at least in my opinion, on how they view KPJ. If he needs help with the playmaking, Suggs would be the guy. If he needs help with the scoring, then Cade’s the guy. If he needs a running mate, then Green’s the guy. Or they could just get Mobley if they think he’s fine. Man Tuesday can’t come soon enough.
It’s going to be an interesting day for Rockets fans that’s for sure.