Houston Rockets: Ranking the top-five 2021 NBA draft prospects

Evan Mobley #4 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley #4 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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2019 NBA Draft board (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
2019 NBA Draft board (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

For the Houston Rockets, the 2021 NBA draft cannot come soon enough. Their 15-44 record has given them a half-game lead for the worst record in the league and their recent results have been even worse considering they started the season 11-10.

Since the month of February, the Rockets have been the worst team in the NBA. Their 6-35 record is miles worse than the Minnesota Timberwolves 11-30 mark and if they continue playing at that pace they’ll have no problem claiming the worst record in the league for the first time since the 1982-83 season.

The Rockets have all but locked up one of the three worst records in the league which gives them the joint best odds for the number one overall pick and a 52.1-percent chance to land a pick in the top-four. The number 52.1 is of the utmost importance because if the Rockets’ pick falls out of the top-four it loses its protection and the Oklahoma City Thunder have the right to swap the pick.

To make matters worse, the Thunder own the Miami Heat’s first-round pick, which they can swap so the Rockets would likely end up with a pick outside of the lottery. However, the chances are ever so slightly in the Rockets’ favor to keep their first-round pick and have their choice of one of the draft’s top players.

Houston Rockets: The 2021 Draft

The top of the 2021 draft has been hyped for years and for good reason. There are five potential franchise-altering players who could spearhead a Rockets resurgence. If the Rockets keep their pick, regardless of where it falls, any player in the top four has the potential to be an All-Star.

At the top of most draft boards is Cade Cunningham followed by, in no set order, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga. No pick is a sure thing but each prospect in this group has what it takes to be an impact NBA player. Here’s the ranking of the top-five players in the 2021 NBA draft.

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect #5