Takeaway from Whitmore falling outside of the lottery to Houston
These are only two specific scenarios, but they help prove that interviews and injuries can only ever tell part of the story. You never truly know how a basketball player’s mind and body will respond to the grind of the NBA until they are put in the situation.
This is why it was a no-brainer for Rafael Stone to make Cam Whitmore a Houston Rocket when he slid all the way to the 20th pick, a pick the organization had been trying to use to trade up so that they could select Whitmore during his initial fall out of the top 10. Perhaps the Dalai Llama was onto something when he said, "Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."
The Rockets get their number 2 guy in this draft and still have a wealth of capital to fill out the rest of the roster in the coming months.
Who Cam Whitmore will be in the NBA remains to be seen. He is, by all accounts, an upside swing. However, having a top-five talent show up at your front door because of some issues that may be very easily solved with maturation and training is an opportunity you always capitalize on.
Props to Stone for continuing to be a late-lottery to late-first-round maestro.
The Houston Rockets will now enter the 2023 season with one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA and an obscene amount of cap space for a team who already has its franchise cornerstones. What more could you ask for from phase one of this rebuild?