The Houston Rockets selected Ignite G Jalen Green with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Rockets just missed out on the first pick in the draft lottery, but landed the No. 2 pick along with another pair of later first round picks.
Houston finished dead last not only in the Western Conference last season, but in the league standings as well with an abysmal 17-55 record. Sending James Harden away to the Nets back in January didn’t help things at all as they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by mid-April, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season. In addition to losing Harden, the Rockets also lost head coach Mike D’Antoni as well as general manager Rafael Stone before the start of the season.
Now they’ll look to build around players like John Wall and Eric Gordon, as the only direction left to go is up after recording their worst season since 1982-83 when they only logged 14 wins.
Houston Rockets 2021 NBA Draft picks
No. 2, first round: Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite
No. 16, first round (via OKC): Alperen Sengun, C, Turkey
No. 23, first round: Usman Garuba, F, Real Madrid
No. 24, first round: Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State
Fantasy basketball outlook
Jalen Green — The 6’5” guard brings a ton of talent to a Rockets squad who just went through their worst season in recent history. He averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in the G League bubble through 15 games played. Look for him to be a regular in any fantasy lineup when Houston is involved.
Alperen Sengun — Sengun is a very interesting prospect out of Turkey. He was dominant overseas, averaging 19.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game for Besiktas in the Turkish Elite League. He isn’t much of a shooter, but is very versatile as a defender. Sengun is more of an old school big at the center position, but he is a great passer, similar to Denver Nuggets C Nikola Jokic. Sengun will need to develop more of a consistent shot, but he’s got a lot of upside with how successful European prospects have become in the NBA.
Usman Garuba — Garuba is a talent out of Spain who played for Real Madrid in Liga ACB for the last three years. He only averaged four points per game last season but he shot 50.4% in field goals and averaged 4.1 rebounds per game. While he’s a bit unpolished, his raw talent and massive wingspan could turn him into a star with some development in the NBA. His three-point shot could use some improvement, but his defensive potential will make him a solid commodity on Houston’s roster next season.
Josh Christopher — After impressing at the NBA Draft combine, Christopher’s stock has risen on the draft board and the Rockets did well to pick him at 24. He averaged 14.3 points per game last season with Arizona State while adding 4.7 rebounds, most of them on the defensive end. The Rockets look to add more depth at guard as he’ll be reunited with the Rockets’ No. 2 draft pick Jalen Green — the two players were once teammates under Vegas Elite in their youth days. Look for Christopher to come up as a decent fantasy value option down the line.