Jalen Suggs or Cade Cunningham? The obvious answer is Suggs. Well at least it should be for the Houston Rockets.
Suggs would be the better pick, for a number of reasons. For one, Suggs would fit better with Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr.
This is especially true if the Rockets want Kevin Porter Jr. to fall into that pseudo point guard/shooting guard role that James Harden previously occupied. This would figure to be the best role for Porter Jr., as it would allow him to run the offense, which he proved capable of doing in the G-League with the Rio Grande Vipers.
Why Jalen Suggs has passed Cade Cunningham on the Houston Rockets’ radar
Also, Jalen Suggs is a better overall player than Cade Cunningham, as Suggs played with more NBA-ready type players, while also playing against significantly better competition.
In addition, Suggs has a better basketball IQ, which helped Gonzaga reach the national championship game. This spotlight put more eyes on Suggs, while also giving him more pivotal experience.
Suggs was reminiscent of the collegiate version of Lonzo Ball. If you recall, Ball displayed an uncanny court vision with UCLA, as he was able to pass the ball, find the open player, and get his teammates easy shots during his time with the Bruins.
Jalen also had a low turnover rate and takes highly-efficient shots. Speaking of which, Suggs made 50.3 percent of his shots, which further emphasizes his overall high-percentage shots.
Granted, Gonzaga didn’t need him to carry the team like Oklahoma State needed Cade Cunningham to do, but Suggs can still take over a game when needed too.
He can also take a big-time shot and close a game out under pressure as he did in the Final Four vs. UCLA.
In just his freshman year, Jalen Suggs averaged 14.1 points, while only taking ten shots a game. But Suggs can contribute in many other ways besides scoring, as he averaged 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
Suggs likes getting his teammates involved, especially if they have the hot hand. This is also what makes him a better fit for the Rockets than Cunningham, as he can run the pick-and-roll quite well, which would work perfectly with Christian Wood.
In addition to the aforementioned skillsets, Suggs can also defend three different positions and has the ability to straight up take the ball out of opponents’ hands, which is a trait that could easily have a fast break going the other way.
If the Houston Rockets happen to get a top-two lottery pick and draft Jalen Suggs, the team will have one of the best backcourts in the NBA, and the rebuild would happen much sooner than Rockets fans think or expect.