The Houston Rockets have kept draft analysts on their toes of late, as many draft experts have seemingly been guessing what the franchise intends to do with the fourth pick in next week's draft. The Rockets have made it known that they intend to walk away from this offseason acquiring a floor general, above all else.
The Rockets have mostly been linked to Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson, who possesses a rare combination of size, athleticism, and court vision (although his inability to shoot is a legitimate concern). But although the masses believe the Rockets are taking the 6-foot-7 Thompson, the franchise may choose to go a different direction altogether.
At least according to Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wassermann.
"New intel suggests the Houston Rockets have gone back and forth between Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore...."league sources believe Cam Whitmore is becoming the favorite to land with the Houston Rockets."
This would be quite a surprise, as Thompson seems to be a better fit for a major need on the roster. But let's dive into Whitmore, who has alot of potential and alot to offer (hence, why he's viewed as a top-five prospect).
Whitmore provides immense athleticism at the forward position, especially when taking his frame into account (6-foot-6 235+ pounds). In his lone season at Villanova, Whitmore averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from 3-point range.
Whitmore flashed a 40.5 inch vertical at the NBA Draft Combine (again, the athleticism is off the charts) and his explosion is a sight to see. Whitmore is a tank with a quick-twitch that will certainly carry over into the NBA.
Houston Rockets send shockwaves with reported change in draft plans
When you combine the athleticism with the underrated 3-point shooting ability, it's easy to see why the Rockets would register interest in the 18-year-old. If Whitmore is able to attack the rim like this at 18, imagine how much better he'll be as he ages and adds more to his bag.
Whitmore is certainly not a facilitator by any stretch of the imagination, so the Rockets will certainly need to secure a commitment from James Harden or pivot to the other options on the market, if they do indeed pass up on Thompson in favor of Whitmore.
This would be a surprising pick, as smart money points to the franchise staying put with Thompson at number four, but crazier things have happened. We'll have to wait and see!