2 encouraging signs for Houston Rockets' Cam Whitmore

2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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With the top of the draft holding fast to the months-long predictions of many mock drafts, the story of the night was the free fall of Villanova Wildcat, Cam Whitmore. The 18-year-old forward was thought by many to be one of the highest upside prospects in this draft class that would likely go in the top 10. You can imagine his surprise, along with the Rockets’ brass and fans when he was available at pick number 20.

Whitmore entered the 2022-2023 season as one of the most exciting freshmen that college basketball had to offer. His unique combination of speed, strength, leaping ability, and an improving jumper make him the dream archetype for any coach hoping to craft a superstar. However, a disappointing freshman season highlighted some of his weaknesses, such as a lack of feel for creating for his teammates and tunnel vision when driving to the basket. 

2 encouraging signs for Houston Rockets' Cam Whitmore

Cam was always a longterm play and his immediate success was going to be determined by the situation he ended up in. By way of his strengths and weaknesses, he continued to be a highly touted prospect that wasn’t quite dynamic enough of a playmaker to jump into the top three. 

Fast forward to the week before the draft and Cam’s stock had begun to drop. From medical questions to some unimpressive draft workouts and interviews, teams started to find reasons to doubt whether or not the upside presented by Whitmore was worth their first-round pick. 12-15 picks later and Cam Whitmore had fallen into the laps of the Houston Rockets, much like two other proven star-level players around the league.