It wasn’t that long ago that it felt like Evan Mobley was the clear number two choice in the 2021 NBA Draft. However, as we inch closer to the big day on July 29, it seems that Jalen Green is not only gaining ground in many people’s eyes, he’s surpassed Mobley as the favorite to go second overall to the Houston Rockets after Cade Cunningham likely goes first overall (barring a surprise) to the Detroit Pistons.
Rockets beat reporter Kelly Iko had this to say about Green:
“Multiple people around the league love the idea of Green fitting in Houston, mainly because of the potential for stardom down the line and the backcourt fit with Kevin Porter Jr.”
I don’t disagree with the statement, and I’ve been personally coming around on Green myself after being firmly in on team Mobley before the draft lottery. I know Mobley is regarded as a better defender and playmaker than Christian Wood, but two seven-footers in today’s NBA — especially two with similar body types — feels a bit redundant.
That potential Green-Porter backcourt has me salivating as well and would feature a guy in Porter who can run the offense and can also provide scoring punch, as evidenced by his 50-point game on April 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks, but might also be better suited to be the number two guy. That’s where Green comes in as the alpha dog scorer.
It seems I’m not the only one who feels that way, as Green is taking the leap up on several mock drafts as well, including ones by ESPN and another by The Ringer, though it’s still Mobley going second in the SB Nation mock along with others by CBS and 247-Sports.
It’s pretty much anyone’s guess at this point who the Rockets end up taking, but there’s no doubting that the idea of Jalen Green to H-town appears to be fast growing and spreading.