• Brian L. Barefield

Jalen Green Finally Becomes A Rocket

Photo Credit/Houston Rockets

After months and months of speculations on whether or not the Houston Rockets would trade out of their number two lottery pick with the Detroit Pistons for the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Rockets stood firm in their conviction and landed the player they have had their eyes on for a very long time.

Houston selected Jalen Green who skipped college to play in the G League for the Ignite this past season. The 6-foot-6 guard excelled by averaging 17.9 points in 15 games inside of the bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

“It was exciting,” said Green about hearing his name called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “After that I hugged my family, all the nervousness went away, and we just walked on that stage. All I was thinking about was the future, so it was an exciting moment for me.”

If it was exciting for Green, Houston is ecstatic as they look to improve from last year’s turmoil and adversity that lead them to a 16-53 record. Green worked out for the Rockets three days prior to the draft and really liked what he seen from the organization.

“I think they have great players,” Green said in his pre-draft media session. “They can get out fast, get out and run. They seem like a free team, being able to play off reads and in transition.”

One thing that the Rockets have going for them is a young nucleus that include forward Christian Wood and guard Kevin Porter Jr. who also spent some time in the G League last season after being acquired by Houston via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I think I can be that piece,” Green responded when asked about being one of the center pieces for the Rockets. “I think I can bring that dog mentality, that defensive mindset and an exciting part at the same time. They already got a lot of star players, a lot of excitement on the team. I think they're just missing one more piece and I think I can fulfill that.”

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