Fact or Fiction: Houston Rocketsby Garrett Brooks August 26, 2021 0 comments
The Houston Rockets are now well into their rebuilding process. The James Harden saga is well behind them and they have quickly acquired a talented group of young players. Jalen Green, the Rockets’ highest selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, is an NBA-ready scorer that will energize the Rockets fanbase.
Still, a few key topics remain unknown. For example, what will happen with John Wall as the season progresses? Or what kind of improvements will the Rockets make in the standings? Those are a few of the topics to be addressed ahead.
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Jalen Green Will Lead NBA Rookies in Scoring
The Rockets selected Green with the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He will have the attention of the entire fanbase on him early in his career. Although he will be joined by three additional rookies selected during the 2021 NBA Draft, Green is the one Rockets fans are most eager to see take the court. That’s what happens when you are the second selection in the draft.
In the NBA Summer League, Green averaged 20.3 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting from the field. Despite a small sample size (three games), Green showed off his electric scoring ability by averaging over 20 points per game. He did that in just 24.1 minutes per contest.
— NBA (@NBA) August 19, 2021
Green showed off all the tools that made the Rockets take him second overall in the draft before ending his summer league early due to a strained hamstring. The G-League Ignite product averaged 17.9 points per game in the G-League last year and is going to surpass that number on a per-game basis in his rookie season.
He has the keys to the Rockets organization and his greatest strength right now is scoring the basketball. Expect Green to average over 20 points per game in his rookie campaign. That feat has only been accomplished by Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic over the course of the last three NBA seasons.
Verdict: Fact, Jalen Green will lead NBA rookies in scoring
John Wall will be on the Houston Rockets at the Conclusion of the 2021-22 NBA Season
Wall is the most accomplished NBA player on the current Rockets roster. While his debut season in Houston was far from perfect, Wall displayed enough for NBA teams to confidently see value in his on-court production. His massive contract is the issue.
Wall is set to make over $44M this season. Additionally, he owns a player option for the following season that will earn him just over $47M. Few players in the league are worth that kind of money. At this point in his career, Wall certainly is not. With the Rockets embracing their rebuild and approaching it aggressively, there’s no reason to keep Wall around for two more seasons.
His contract will be nearly impossible to move in a trade. Barring the perfect deal that allows the Rockets to completely get out from the money owed to Wall, a buyout will happen at some point. Not only will that open up minutes and shots for the Rockets young core it will directly give more opportunities to Kevin Porter Jr. as the primary ball-handler.
Buyouts are becoming more and more common in the NBA, regardless of remaining years or money on a player’s deal. After they fail to find a trade partner and accept that Wall is either going to be on their roster or needs to get bought out, the Rockets will find a middle ground with the guard.
Verdict: False, John Wall will not be a member of the Houston Rockets by the end of the season
The Rockets will Finish the 2021-22 NBA Season with a Bottom Three Winning Percentage in the NBA
During the 2020-21 NBA season the Rockets were among the NBA’s worst teams. In fact, they were the worst team when it came to wins and losses. No other NBA franchise failed to reach 20 wins during the season. The Rockets won just 17 total games.
As stated earlier, the Rockets had a great offseason in terms of adding youth and building a core for the future. That usually doesn’t correlate to wins right away and the Rockets don’t expect to see a jump in the standings just yet.
While they do have a suddenly promising young core that features Green, Porter Jr., Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba, Josh Christopher and Kenyon Martin Jr., those players are going to be learning on the job all season. With the big picture in mind, the Rockets will allow them to learn from their mistakes.
Naturally, there will be growing pains for the Rockets this season. Player development and roster-building remain the top priority. Due to that reality, the Rockets are going to once again be among the NBA’s worst teams during the 2021-22 NBA season. They also will benefit from another high draft pick next offseason.
Verdict: Fact, the Rockets will be a bottom three team in the NBA this season
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Main Image Credit: Via Google Images