The Houston Rockets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and every roster spot is filled with a guy who has the talent but is just waiting for a few other things to develop so that they can turn that corner. The roster isn't one that will compete for an NBA Finals this year or next, but they are one that has a core that could be elite in a few years.
One of those core players is rookie Cam Whitmore, who the Rockets got as a steal in the draft. His stock fell because of his defense, and of course, something else always gets added in on draft night about motor and attitude.
However, Whitmore has looked fine. He has had a poster dunk in the preseason and has done a few other things that have "wowed" fans, to say the least.
The defense was a huge concern, though. However, a lot of scouts thought his offense would be good enough for him to still be a top-five or top-ten pick in this last draft.
Instead, the Rockets got to pick Amen Thompson and then Whitmore at 20 overall in the draft. To some of his teammates, Whitmore is a nightmare for opponents.
Rockets starter has interesting way of describing rookie after preseason game
"He's a man-child," Jae'Sean Tate said in the locker room after Wednesday's preseason loss to the Spurs. "He's got a motor. He's got something in him that is willing him to be better. He's hungry to improve. He's going to be scary. He's going to be real scary."
A "man-child" is an interesting way to put it, but then again, you think Whitmore is only 19-years-old and won't be 20 until July. He is very young and still very raw. While the defense and motor still aren't where they need to be, even after seeing some drastic improvements from his Villanova days to now, it still needs work.
The good thing is, it's definitely fixable. It isn't one of those traits that people say "you can't teach," like speed or size.
Whitmore will be great for this team, but before we say anything negative, the kid has yet to even play in an actual NBA game that counts. Let's at least let him get a few games out of the way.
But I have a feeling the Rockets and their fans will love the "man-child."