With the combine and early-entry deadline for 2021 prospects having now passed, NBA draft guru Cody Taylor takes a look at all 60 first- and second-round picks in the latest version of the Rookie Wire Mock Draft. Player fit is taken into consideration in these choices.
With the draft lottery in the rear-view mirror, teams around the NBA — including the Houston Rockets — have ramped up their draft preparations by hosting prospects for interviews and private workouts. Boards have certainly shifted some in recent weeks following the conclusion of the NBA G League Elite Camp and draft combine. Several prospects helped their stock following strong performances at both events.
Here’s a look at who Taylor has the Rockets selecting with each of their three first-round selections in the July 29 draft, along with each prospect’s physical listings and Taylor’s summary of their candidacy.
Pick 2: Jalen Green, NBA G League Ignite
Weight: 186 lbs.
Green is highly touted for his potential and ability on the court as a dynamic playmaker, something the Rockets desperately need. Some believe Green can eventually be the best scorer from this draft, and he showed that throughout the G League bubble, averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 assists in 15 games. He has drawn comparisons to Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal, and it is easy to see that given his knack for scoring.
Pick 23: Cameron Thomas, LSU
Weight: 210 lbs.
Thomas led all freshmen in the country in scoring and finished with 22 20-point games, the most in program history since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992. His early exit from the draft combine sparked some rumors that he could have a promise from a team. Based on his ability to score, Thomas could be a coveted option this late in the draft and yet another piece for the Rockets to build around.
Pick 24: Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland, VCU
Hyland essentially played himself into the back end of the first round after an excellent showing at the NBA draft combine. In his first scrimmage game, Hyland produced a game-high 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and one steal in 23 minutes. His athleticism and physical tools, plus his 6-foot-9 wingspan, figures to be an intriguing option for the Rockets, who worked Hyland out this week. He would give the Rockets a player capable of creating for himself with the potential to develop into a solid bench option in the future.
Taylor’s complete mock draft for all NBA teams, as of July 8 and inclusive of both the first and second rounds, can be viewed here.
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