Houston Rockets: Which NBA Draft prospect is the best fit at no. 2?

N.B. Lindberg
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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Houston Rockets, NBA Draft
Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets: Which NBA Draft prospect is the best fit at no. 2 if Kevin Porter

The Rockets landing Kevin Porter Jr from the Cleveland Cavaliers was a shrewd piece of business by Rafael Stone. Porter flashed tantalizing potential in Cleveland but the relationship between him and the organization deteriorated to the point where he was moved for a second-round pick, which is next to nothing by NBA standards.

The Rockets were the benefactors of the fallout in Cleveland and after letting Porter run wild in the G-League he came up and played like one would expect a 20-year-old to play in the NBA. There were tremendous highs, like his 50 point outburst against the Milwaukee Bucks, but also a lot of lows, he shot under 40-percent from the field in 11 of 26 games.

The range of possible outcomes for Porter are all over the place, but it appears unlikely that he’ll ever be an MVP candidate, which means his ultimate upside is that of an All-Star. These are the best fits for the Rockets with the number two pick depending on how they value Kevin Porter Jr.

Related Story. 37 best prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft

Houston Rockets: Which NBA Draft prospect is the best fit at no. 2 if Kevin Porter Jr is an All-Star: Evan Mobley

If the Rockets believe that Kevin Porter Jr. is a future All-Star then figuring out who to draft is difficult. Do you pair him with Jalen Green to form the league’s most dynamic young backcourt? Or do you select Evan Mobley and have a decade-plus of a new-age Shaq and Kobe?

Or maybe the best answer is to go and select Jalen Suggs who would be a perfect fit as the second guard next to Porter. If Rafael Stone and company believe that Porter is a future All-Star then they need to select Evan Mobley.

No matter what your opinion of Christian Wood is, the possibility of having two future All-Stars who are both under the age of 22 is too good to pass up. The Rockets would be set in the backcourt and frontcourt for the next decade.

With the Brooklyn Nets’ picks coming through the pipeline, the Rockets would be in a prime position to land another star and form a big three just as the duo hits their primes. If Kevin Porter Jr is an All-Star, then Evan Mobley is the right man at number two.

Houston Rockets: Which NBA Draft prospect is the best fit at no. 2 if Kevin Porter Jr is an average player: Jalen Suggs

If Kevin Porter Jr. is viewed as an average NBA player by the Rockets front office then it makes sense to try and maximize Porter’s skillset. Most NBA players aren’t average across the board but rather they have strengths and weaknesses and on aggregate they’re average.

Jalen Suggs would be the best fit to help paper over Porter’s weaknesses and accentuate his strengths. The truth is, an average NBA player can give you above-average production if the environment is right.

A backcourt of Suggs and Porter would have the right combination of defense, passing, and shot-making to be an above-average backcourt. It might not be a championship backcourt but it also wouldn’t hold the franchise back from competing for titles if the right pieces are around it.

Houston Rockets: Which NBA Draft prospect is the best fit at no. 2 if Kevin Porter Jr is a bust: Jalen Green

If the Rockets believe that Kevin Porter Jr is a bust then they need to find a replacement for him right away. Giving reps to a player you don’t believe in is a waste of time for everyone involved.

If the Rockets don’t believe that Porter is a part of their future then they should look to draft Jalen Green to be their lead guard of the future. With John Wall and Eric Gordon still in the picture, the Rockets have the ability to phase in Green at the pace they want.

The only way the Rockets are getting a championship is if they land a star and if Porter isn’t even an average player in their eyes then they need to find one as soon as possible. The NBA is a perimeter-oriented league and without some real dynamism in the backcourt, it’s near impossible to build a contender.

Next. Why Cade Cunningham isn’t a lock at no. 1

Green is the most dynamic player in this draft and his long-term potential as a go-to scorer makes him easy to build around. Finding players that fit around a scorer is a lot easier than finding a scorer.

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