The Rockets’ post-James Harden rebuild is already off to an encouraging start after adding four first round picks to the roster this year, headlined by No. 2 overall selection Jalen Green. Green is a certified bucket getter who will put up effortless 30-point nights as he grows in the league. Christian Wood has blossomed into a productive offensive big at 26 years old. Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, and Kenyon Martin Jr. provide some younger upside along with the rookie class. Houston should be one of the worst teams in the NBA this year, but another high lottery pick could quickly make their collection of talent look tantalizing.
There are two possible best-case scenarios for the Rockets. Being that this is a rebuilding team, scenario one involves the Rockets playing poorly with one of the worst records in the league and having a shot at a high lottery pick. Best-case scenario number two is that the young pieces come together quickly and Houston sneaks into the playoffs as a low seed or from the play-in tournament.
Worst case scenario is that the Rockets don’t make the playoffs but play well enough that they don’t end up with a high draft pick. The double whammy.
I think somewhere in the middle of the best case and worst case. The Rockets won’t be the worst team in the league, but they won’t make the playoffs either. They may end up with a top 10 pick. There are some complicated draft scenarios for Houston that depend on other team’s records, but this is based on if they end up keeping their natural pick.
Watching Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green develop as the backcourt of the future for the Rockets. They are both young and extremely talented, and while there may be some growing pains, I think we’ll see both showing out their fair share as well.