The Houston Rockets have a tough decision to make with the number two pick in the 2021 NBA draft. If the Detroit Pistons select Cade Cunningham with the first pick, then the Rockets have to decide if Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, or Jalen Suggs is the right man to lead the franchise forward.
While talent will be the main driver in the Rockets’ decision-making, how each of these players fits into the current core will weigh on the front office’s mind. As the Philadelphia 76ers tanked their way through “the process,” in the early to mid-2010s, their draft strategy was simply to take the best available player regardless of fit.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks focused their rebuilding efforts by finding players who complemented each other. Both strategies have been effective in building winning basketball teams, but if these playoffs are any indication, then drafting for fit is just as important as drafting for talent.
How the Houston Rockets will determine who fits best
If the Rockets view the Hawks’ fit-based draft strategy as the best way to build a championship roster then that changes their big board dramatically. Another factor that will impact the prospect of best fit, is how the Rockets internally grade their own roster.
For instance, if the Rockets believe Kevin Porter Jr is a future All-Star, then finding someone who can play alongside him becomes paramount. Conversely, if the front office believes Porter’s future is as a role player, then finding someone who can supplant him becomes an option.
Instead of pretending to know the Rockets’ internal grades of their own roster to decide which prospect is the best fit, let’s pick the prospect that will be the best fit depending on the possible front office grades of the current roster.
As it stands, the two most important players to the Rockets’ future are Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. How the Rockets view these two’s future will determine which player fits best. These are the prospects that fit best based on how the Rockets value their two future cornerstones.
Next: How do the Rockets value Christian Wood?