Draft prospect worth the risk for Houston Rockets?
By Rob Leeds
Franchises turn their entire standing around with one great player all the time. Is that what the Houston Rockets would get with Chet Holmgren?
Chet Holmgren tends to be one of the most divisive players in this draft class. From his strange build to his ability to play defense and shoot the three from his size, there are plenty of reasons to argue for or against his joining the Rockets.
Holmgren is that type of player where you will find what you are searching for in the tape, good or bad, but this is a bit of a moot point for Houston as it stands.
The Rockets don't really have a pick of the three forwards in this class. With the third overall pick, just being able to land one of the top three guys is all that matters. They'll take whoever is left.
However, there is some buzz about a trade being on the table, and if Houston did trade up, the Chet Holmgren talks would too.
Holmgren seems unlikely to be available at third. There is something about Orlando and Oklahoma City that makes it seem like they would take a chance on the guy with the highest ceiling, but who knows that this point?
Still, Holmgren and the Rockets is a conversation worth having.
There is currently a mixed bag in Houston. Jalen Green is an obvious hit, but the pieces past him are a bit more up in the air. The Rockets have several quality depth guys, but they still need several more pieces for Green if they actually want to turn this ship around.
The player with the highest potential in this class sure makes a compelling argument to pair with Green.
The Gonzaga star has the size, the three-point shooting ability (.390), and the inate talent as a scorer to fit in on Houston's roster. Guys like Kevin Porter Jr. might get a few less chances with the ball, but him getting better as a catch and shoot option from deep wouldn't hurt either.
Holmgren is going to get buckets and his defense at least projects to be higher than Paolo Banchero. However, this is where we start to get into some of Holmgren issues.
For anyone who has watched Holmgren play for one second can tell you; his build is a problem. Being that tall and that skinny is not a recipe for success in the NBA from a health-standpoint longterm.
People might make comparissons to Kevin Durant and his slim stature, but even Durant looks filled out by comparisson, and that's a problem.
Holmgren can be a good defender in the paint, but he doesn't have the weight to keep opposing players from bodying him down low. Alperen Sengun could potentially handle some of the heavier bodies that would give Holmgren the worst issues, but the problem remains.
Size isn't everything, but it does still matter in the NBA world.
All in all, Holmgren is a mixed bag that requires a bit of projection to see where his value truly lies. There is obvious upside here, but it is also increasingly clear that there is plenty of risk too.
Based on what we have seen from the Rockets, they would be happy to have any of the three guys, but the question marks surrounding Holmgren make it seem like landing Banchero or Smith as the much better and safer options.
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