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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Jalen Green #4 of the G League Ignite (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jalen Green #4 of the G League Ignite (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets Draft Prospect #3: Jalen Green

Jalen Green should be the early favorite for the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year. Green is going to get buckets with ease no matter what team he ends up on and points per game are a great proxy for ROY voting.

His combination of athleticism, body control, and finishing all but guarantees that he’ll be a 20 point scorer at some point in his career. His shooting consistency and ball handling will need to improve but he won’t turn 20 until February of 2022 so that’s to be expected.

Green’s floor is as a high-volume scorer where his efficiency will determine if he’s a top-15 player (like Zach Lavine this year) or merely the guy that gets to score his team’s points (like Zach LaVine before this season). Regardless of how much he actually impacts winning, Green is the surest bet to provide the most entertainment throughout his career.

Green and Kuminga were teammates for the Ignite, but, unlike Kuminga, Green mixed volume with efficiency. In 32 minutes a game, Green averaged 17.9 points per game on 46.1-percent shooting and 36.5-percent 3-point shooting.

If Green posted those numbers playing for Duke people would be giddy about his potential. The fact that he did so against superior competition with a deeper 3-point line should give everyone optimism that his scoring ability is for real.

However, Green’s ceiling will be determined by his growth as a playmaker and his defensive development. As impressive as his scoring was in the G-League, his passing left a lot to be desired.

Green would benefit, early on, playing next to a real facilitator but he’ll need a team that commits to his development as a passer. He has the physical ability to be an able defender but he’ll likely never be a plus on that end.

Green is a sure thing as a scorer and entertainer but everything else will take time and may never come. His scoring ability will get fans excited but unless he can become an adept passer he’ll have a bunch of empty stats.

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect #2

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