3 Young players the Houston Rockets should develop, 2 to give up on

Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets
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The Houston Rockets should continue to tap into Jabari Smith Jr.'s potential

In the 2022 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets selected Jabari Smith Jr. third overall out of Auburn. In his rookie season, Smith Jr. struggled to find his footing in the league, averaging just 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting just 40.8% from the field and 30.7% from beyond the arc.

Despite his awkward transition to the NBA, the young wing was still selected to the All-Rookie second team. Smith Jr. took a bit of a jump in the back half of the season, scoring 14.6 points per game on 44.6% shooting overall, after the All-Star break.

He continued his upward momentum in the NBA Summer League in July. The 20-year-old suited up in two games for the Rockets in Las Vegas and absolutely balled out.

He averaged 35.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per contest, turning heads of fans all over the country.

On top of Smith Jr.'s positive trend in play, he's got a six-ten frame that gives him plenty of potential to be a force on both ends of the floor. As he continues to develop his body, he'll become more and more versatile as a defender, which is a priceless trait in today's NBA.

All of these ingredients will likely help Houston cook up a competitive team for year's to come.