The Houston Rockets are still in the midst of their rebuild. They finished last season with the worst regular season record in the league at 20-62. Yes, that’s bad. With that being said, the Rockets have been committed to building through the NBA Draft and should continue to see development from their young players.
Houston Rockets 2022-23 Season Preview
The Rockets were active in the 2022 Draft, adding three players who could contribute immediately. First and foremost, Jabari Smith was selected at number three overall. The former Auburn Tiger was a legitimate projection to go first overall to the Orlando Magic, but he fell slightly to three. This, of course, bodes well for the Rockets. Smith should see plenty of time this season.
Tari Eason was selected at 17th overall. The former LSU Tiger has all the makings of a defensive star and stood out in the Summer League. Finally, TyTy Washington went to Houston after being selected 29th overall. Washington is a project, but he showed flashes of brilliance with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Dennis Schroder left and joined the Los Angeles Lakers. Christian Wood, a key contributor, was also traded to the Dallas Mavericks. In return, Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, and Marquese Chriss join the Rockets. Although none are expected to be key contributors, they still bring talent to the table. Marjanovic is a usable big and a fan favorite. Burke can score in bunches. Brown is a solid shooter and Chriss brings defense.
Eric Gordon remains on the roster. Gordon has been a hot name in the trade market throughout the offseason, so his future on the team will be something to monitor.
This season will be all about youth development for the Rockets. It’s unlikely that they compete for the playoffs, but of course, it’s too early to say that’s entirely out of the picture.
Jalen Green holds all the potential in the world. Last season, as a rookie, he averaged about 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game. There were plenty of inefficiencies, but also plenty of explosiveness. Green is a legitimate offensive weapon and his development is key for the future of the Rockets. Kevin Porter Jr., Green’s partner in the backcourt, is also quite talented. He averaged about 16 points, four rebounds, and six assists per game last season. He’s just 22 years old, so the future looks bright for the Rockets’ backcourt. Josh Christopher is another developmental player.
The frontcourt, of course, will have plenty of focus centered around rookies Smith and Eason. Alperen Sengun, however, looks to be a star in the making. Sengun averaged close to 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game. His minutes were up-and-down, but with Wood gone, expect Sengun to become a consistent starter. His offensive capabilities, especially his passing/vision, have been compared to superstar Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. That’s an early stretch, but it’s clear that Sengun has high potential.
Expectations for the Houston Rockets Season
It will be an experimental season for the Rockets. It will not come as a surprise to see the Rockets amongst the lower end of the league once again. Sure, that’s not ideal, but again, it’s all about youth development.
Porter Jr., Green, Smith, Sengun, Eason, and more need to see as much floor time as possible. They can grow their games and the Rockets can also secure a high draft pick. In addition, Gordon can be flipped for future assets as well.
It may be ugly at times but there will be plenty of flashes of brilliance for the youngsters as well.