In one of ESPN’s latest Mock Drafts, they have Jaden Ivey going to the Houston Rockets. Ivey is a 6’4” guard that plays for Purdue. He is considered super athletic, a great perimeter defender, and he is a great spot-up shooter.
Ivey is currently averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists with 48.5 percent shooting from the field and 42.4 percent from three. Jaden also led Purdue to a March Madness appearance in the 2020-21 season and has led them to a current number four ranking in the AP Top 25 poll.
Ivey has received comparisons to Ja Morant and some shades of Dwayne Wade, with the Morant comparisons coming because he is a tall point guard that can do almost everything. Jaden also has great athleticism just like Ja, and any team could use a tall and athletic guard.
The Rockets are in need of a true point guard. John Wall currently doesn’t play and will eventually be traded. And while Kevin Porter Jr. has shown some recent signs of coming into his own, and hopes are that Jalen Green can also grow into running some occasional minutes at the point eventually, but that is not their true position. Depending on how Porter finishes the year, this could be a big area of need for the Rockets.
Ivey would be a great fit because the soon-to-be 20-year-old matches up with their young core. In this year’s draft, Houston will be looking to add to that group. The Rockets have created a young core with loads of potential, with guys like Green, Porter, Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, Kenyon Martin Jr., Josh Christopher, and Alperen Sengun. Ivey would likely fit in well alongside Jalen Green, forming one of the most athletic backcourts in the NBA with the potential to be scary in a couple of years.
Taking a look at Ivey’s game, he has a 6’9” wingspan and some very quick hands. He has really improved from his freshman season, his averages have gone up, and he is looking more confident. Jaden has improved on his three-point shooting, up to 42 percent from 25 percent during his freshman season. He’d need to continue this improvement in the pros. He’s a pretty good playmaker, but will need to take the next step there as well.
Ivey had a huge summer, where he led U19 Team USA to a gold medal and was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Now if you watch this video, you can see how Jaden uses his athleticism, speed, and defense to score the ball. You can also see that he has potential to be a great shooter.
Ivey is currently projected to go fourth overall in ESPN’s 2022 NBA Mock Draft and has the potential to be an All-Star and All-NBA type player. Under NBA Development and the tutelage of John Lucas (if he goes to Houston), Ivey could become one of the best players to come out of the 2022 draft class.
If the Rockets end up taking Ivey like ESPN is projecting, how would he fit in with a crowded backcourt already including KPJ and Green? Tell us in the comments!