1 Burning question about every member of the Houston Rockets' "core six"

What questions persist about the Houston Rockets' Jalen Green?
What questions persist about the Houston Rockets' Jalen Green? / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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Jabari Smith Jr.

What is his offensive role?

As a rookie, the questions about Smith Jr. were more pressing. We were asking questions like "Is Smith Jr. going to be in an NBA rotation in five years?".

As a sophomore, he's radically improved. Smith Jr. bumped his three-point percentage from a dreadful 30.7% to 36.4%. When you're 6'11" and you can knock down triples at that rate, you're going to find your way in the NBA.

How much more can Smith Jr. offer? At times, we see the potential for him to create for himself in the mid to high post area. Will that be a reliable enough weapon for the Rockets to use regularly? Is Smith Jr. Channing Frye, Rashard Lewis, or LaMarcus Aldridge?

Tari Eason

Are there health concerns?

in 2022-23, Tari Eason ranked fifth in the NBA with a 0.5% steal percentage. He led all wings with a 12.0 Offensive Rebound %. If there's an extra possession to be had, Eason is going to find it.

He can't do that if he isn't on the floor. We're using last year's stats for a reason: Eason missed most of 2023-24. Is this going to be an ongoing issue?

Here's hoping not. Eason had a benign growth on the inside of his tibia bone this year. We're not doctors here at Space City Scoop:

We can only hope the issue is resolved heading into 2024-25.

Cam Whitmore

Can he pass?


That's how many assists Cam Whitmore averaged per 75 possessions this year. Per 75 is typically seen as the best-adjusted measure of basic counting stats, because that's how many possessions an NBA starter has in a game on average.

In other words, if Whitmore had started this year, he'd have gotten an assist...in most games. Not every game, mind you, but usually!

That's not enough. Whitmore doesn't need to be a passing wizard - the Rockets have Sengun and Thompson for that. Still, if he wants to be anything more than a sixth man in his NBA career, he'll have to learn to make basic reads and extra passes.

Until then, we've got questions.