Houston Rockets: Player comps for the Rockets’ 2021-22 rookie class

N.B. Lindberg
2021 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
2021 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot / Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
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Jalen Green, Cade Cunningham, Houston Rockets
Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets / Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Houston Rockets' Jalen Green rookie comp: Donovan Mitchell

Jalen Green should be the front runner for Rookie of the Year, and if he matches Donovan Mitchell’s rookie season, he shouldn’t have any issue taking home the award. Mitchell, in his rookie season, averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 33.4 minutes a game. 

Expecting Green to match Mitchell’s rookie-level of production is a tall task. Mitchell walked into a playoff team, while Green is set to take over a team fresh off the worst record in the league. 

Kawhi Leonard, Donovan Mitchell, Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Four / Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Mitchell was a lethal scorer from the get-go and Green projects to be the same. 20 points a game may be too high for Green as a rookie, but 15 points a game seems far too low. Long term, it’d be a massive success if Green can replicate Mitchell’s NBA career. 

Remember, Green will be 19 in his rookie season, while Mitchell was 21. Age is a huge factor in player development. If Donovan Mitchell was two years younger and entering his age 23 season, he’d be neck and neck with Luka Doncic as the best young player in the league. 

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Jalen Green was the right pick for the Rockets. He has a superstar mentality and superstar talent. His work ethic indicates a player who will get the most out of his gifts. If Green is a 20 point scorer right off the bat, then it’s not crazy to start wondering when he’ll win his first scoring title. Green being compared to Donovan Mitchell, as a rookie, is about as high praise as you can bestow a 19-year-old.