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Houston Rockets have Tremendous Draft Night: Grades

The Houston Rockets had a great draft

The Houston Rockets had a wonderful 2021 NBA Draft making four selections in the first round. After an ugly 2020 campaign that saw an underwhelming return for James Harden, the Rockets bounced back in a big way. Let’s take a look at the Houston Rockets draft grades.

2021 NBA Draft: Houston Rockets Grades

Houston Rockets Take Scoring Dynamo Jalen Green

Arguably the most gifted scorer in this class, Jalen Green will bring fire back to the Houston Rockets organization. One year after trading James Harden for pennies on the dollar, Green’s arrival rejuvenates a franchise that was in disarray. He makes an explosive backcourt with Kevin Porter Jr. and Rockets fans will be thoroughly entertained.

The Rockets must move on from John Wall‘s ludicrous contract in the off-season to move into a new era but the future is bright.


Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder Do Business

This trade was initially very confusing as Houston sent two future firsts to Oklahoma City for pick 16. However, once the dust settled, the Rockets made a sensational move given both picks are heavily protected.

The 2022 pick acquired from Detroit came in the Christian Wood sign and trade deal last off-season while the Washington pick came via the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade. Houston’s motivation is to build a team as soon as possible but this was a great move by the Rockets management.


Houston Swing on Turkish League MVP Aleperen Sengun

Alperen Sengun is a solid selection at the 18th spot. The Basketball Super League MVP is a monster on the block and it will be interesting to see how Houston deploys him next to Wood. Selecting an MVP in one of the world’s strongest basketball leagues is a huge win at this spot.

He has question marks regarding his defensive acumen but he is a great post scorer at 18-years-old and gives Houston a different look on offense.


Usman Garuba Brings Defensive Intensity

Usman Garuba is arguably the best defensive big man in this draft class who’s proven himself at Real Madrid. Garuba has spent the past four years playing in the Liga ACB, making his senior debut at 16 years old. This past season, the big man was a key cog in their championship run.

Garuba is a defensive menace but it is his offense that holds the key to his career. At pick 23 though, this is fantastic value.


Rockets Select Microwave Scorer Josh Christopher

Acquiring Josh Christopher was a confusing selection given his mid-range heavy scoring skills. It’s clear that Houston is going all-in offensively but how he fits onto their roster remains unknown. He is a ball-dominant, off-the-dribble scorer who rarely played off the ball at Arizona so this will be an interesting adjustment for him.

If he adjusts, he will be a nice complementary scorer in a sixth-man role.


Final Thoughts

This was a tremendous night for both the Houston organization and its fans. The selection of Green, Sengun, Garuba, and Christopher provides the Rockets with a positive future that doesn’t include continuous tanking for picks. Management did a great job being aggressive and making every post a winner.

The Houston Rockets are one of the biggest winners on draft night in my opinion. They deserve all the praise they can get.

Final Grade: A+

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