June 22nd at 7:30 PM CT was the tensest, most heart-pumping, and exciting moment of the season for Houston Rockets fans, and it had nothing to do with the NBA Playoffs. That was the day when the NBA announced if the Rockets would have the chance to draft a franchise-altering player in this year’s draft or drop all the way down to 18th and hope to find a diamond in the rough.
As picks six and five were announced, the Rockets faithful were on the edge of their collective seats. For the first time in a long time, Rockets fans could celebrate a win, albeit not on the court but just as important. The Rockets ultimately didn’t win the ultimate prize, which was the number one overall pick, but you can do worse than drafting second in a loaded draft.
Two NBA draft experts weigh in on who the Houston Rockets should select at no. 2 in the NBA Draft
Now the question comes down to what do you do with that second pick? I wrote about this earlier in the year, and my thoughts and comments since then have made it clear. I believe Evan Mobley is the choice at number two, but I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, so I decided to ask some draft experts their opinion on both players.
I asked Corey Tulaba, Editor-in-chief of The Hardwood Magazine, and Mark Schindler, Co-Creator & Co-Host of Premium Hoops, who they believed is more NBA ready, who is the better fit, which player has the better chance at becoming a superstar, and who they would select with the number two pick.
Houston Rockets NBA Draft: Evan Mobley or Jalen Green, who is more NBA ready?
I ask both Corey and Mark who they think was more NBA-ready and could come in right away and make a major impact?
Jalen has been playing in a pro system under pro coaches with and against pro players the whole year and was impressive in doing so. Mobley will have the responsibility of quarterbacking a defense and banging with bigger stronger guys while also adjusting to the speed of the game on both ends. He’s fantastic, but Jalen should be more NBA ready.
Definitely Mobley. I would say that any guy coming into the NBA for the most part is going to take a while to get adjusted and have a net positive impact, but Mobley is probably more ready to contribute at a high level earlier on.
Houston Rockets NBA Draft: Green or Mobley, who is the better fit for the Rockets?
I think both guys have similar overlap at their positions. [Christian] Wood and Mobley both play somewhat similarly as do [Kevin Porter Jr] and Green, so I think they fit equally. It comes down to whose talent the Rockets believe in more.
I’m not super worried about the fit, given where the Rockets are at as an organization right now. Mobley is the clear better talent to me and I think you take him and try to make it work. I like the idea of him and Christian together though. Christian isn’t awesome as a full time center on defense, I prefer him as a weakside secondary rim protector and he’s capable of getting out on the perimeter a bit defensively as well. Mobley is a guy who I think will be multiple time All-Defense type player who can slide on the perimeter and protect the rim at an incredibly high level. I’m not worried about the offense either, it’ll just take some time for Mobley to grow into his role and skills at the next level
Houston Rockets NBA Draft: Which player do you believe has a better chance at becoming a superstar?
Jalen has more superstar potential. I think people overestimate Evan’s scoring potential. He’ll be better than say Rudy on that end, and he can really pass, but his long legs make it hard for him to create out on the perimeter like an Anthony Davis. Then there are times where you just forget he’s on the court. Jalen can lead the NBA in scoring one day and he just has the “it” factor that you can’t quantify.
I think it’ll be Mobley, but could see things working out at a high level for Green. I’m more confident that Mobley will hit those heights
Houston Rockets NBA Draft: Green or Mobley, who should the Rockets pick?
Jalen Green all day
I think Houston should select Evan Mobley with the 2nd overall pick
As you can see with our two draft experts, just like Rockets fans, it’s split on who the Rockets should take with the number two pick. The Rockets avoided the worst-case scenario by retaining their lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
Even if it was not the first overall pick they were hoping for, landing at number two gives the Rockets plenty of options, and honestly, you couldn’t go wrong with either player. That being said, I would draft Mobley (if anyone is asking).