It might’ve been the second obvious pick of the night, but the Houston Rockets made it official by selecting Jalen Green with the second pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. The Detroit Pistons took Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the top pick of the draft.
He may not be Cunningham, who was the consensus top prospect of 2021, but Green is just as talented. Coming out of high school, Green was the top basketball recruit of 2020, according to ESPN.
Green is coming to the Rockets as the projected top two-guard of his class. He averaged 17.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field in 15 games in the G-League — becoming the first prospect drafted from the Ignite.
With the selection of Green, the Rockets have put together an explosive backcourt by pairing their top draft pick with Kevin Porter Jr.. Similar to Porter, Green is a versatile guard who can score both inside and out, who has the potential to become an elite scorer on the next level.
Green is the second player in franchise history the Rockets selected at No. 2 overall. The first was Rudy Tomjanovich in 1970, who became a five-time NBA All-Star and a Hall-of-Famer. In 1999, the Rockets acquired Steve Francis — the second pick of the ‘99 draft — who became one of two players to win Rookie of the Year in franchise history. The first ROY winner for the Rockets was Ralph Sampson in 1984. Can Green become the third?
At the time of this writing, the Rockets will make two more first-round selections at picks No. 23 and 24.