Houston Rockets take Amen Thompson with fourth pick in 2023 NBA Draft

2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

The Houston Rockets have ended all speculation regarding what they would do with the first of their two selections during Thursday night's 2023 NBA Draft. The Rockets did the expected and drafted Overtime Elite star Amen Thompson, the 6-foot-7 floor general with freakish athleticism.

The Rockets had a clear need at the point guard position after realizing that Kevin Porter Jr. wasn't the long-term answer for that role. Thompson's frame allows him to play either guard position, but his uncanny passing ability will certainly have him playing point guard in newly-hired Rockets coach Ime Udoka's offense.

Thompson's combination of sheer athleticism and elite playmaking makes it easy to understand why the Rockets locked in on him during the draft process, despite being intrigued by other prospects. Thompson is a pick-and-roll maestro and has been dubbed a bigger John Wall, who ironically also played for the Rockets.

Houston Rockets take Amen Thompson with fourth pick in 2023 NBA Draft

Thompson is also reminiscent of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, particularly as it pertains to his first step and his ability to blow by his opponent. But for as much as the talk about Thompson centers around his offensive toolset, he projects to be a stellar defender (having a 7-foot wingspan will surely help with that).

Thompson has been a disruptor in the passing lanes and plays with relentless effort, which tends to translate on the defensive end as well. Due to his size, Thompson will be able to defend most positions on the floor, giving the Rockets defensive versatility, which the defensive-minded Udoka will surely appreciate.

Thompson's ability on the defensive end makes the Wall comparisons even more logical, as Wall previously made the All-Defensive team and received votes in four other seasons. Thompson is surely not a perfect prospect, as he has legitimate shooting concerns that newly-hired Rockets assistant Ben Sullivan will be tasked with helping to alleviate.

But all in all, the Rockets landed a floor general who will be able to help Jalen Green play off-ball and set up Jabari Smith Jr. for much better scoring opportunities than he had last season.