NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Who Do The Rockets Take 2nd Overall?

NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Who Do The Rockets Take 2nd Overall?

Draft Central

NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Who Do The Rockets Take 2nd Overall?

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham

“This selection was an easy one. Cade Cunningham is a lock to go first overall. And that is no disrespect to prospects such as Evan Mobley and Jalen Green, two prospects that are great in their own right. However, a jumbo-sized point guard that provides high-level shot creation at all three levels, elite playmaking, and impactful defense should go first overall.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Houston Rockets – Jalen Green

“It’s more than likely at this point that the top two picks in this year’s draft are going to be Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green. Green has potential to be a superstar scorer at the next level. He’s an unreal athlete with incredible finishing ability and a textbook jumpshot. Building off of his playmaking and defensive flashes could take him from superstar scorer to superstar player. Him and Kevin Porter Jr can make for a dynamic offensive backcourt. Green will have some large shoes to fill with the loss of Harden, but he has the talent and upside to become something truly special.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Evan Mobley

“With the contant rumors that Green will go ahead of Mobley, the Cavs are now in position to draft a generational big man talent. Mobley is the second best prospect in this draft because of his ridiculous two way upside. He will be a perennial DPOY caliber defender and has a very translatable offensive skillset. Mobley is a force going to the basket and an excellent passer for his position. When the shooting flashes turn into consistency (they will) Mobley will get to the next level and become one of the best bigs in the NBA.” – Will Locklin

  1. Toronto Raptors – Jalen Suggs 

“Maybe lock is a strong word, but it’s very likely we will see Jalen Suggs go here. His lack of ball-handling and elite shot-making doesn’t fit the bill of a primary initiator. However, Suggs’ combination of elite slashing, awesome passing chops and court vision, along with very steady decision-making and flashes of shot creation still warrant some on-ball touches. He’d be a great fit in Toronto where they can create a multi-ball-handler system, which is perfect for Suggs’ skillset.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Orlando Magic – Jonathan Kuminga

“The top five in this year’s draft seems to be locked in at this point. With the questions about Kuminga’s game and the rise of Scottie Barnes, it wouldn’t completely shock me if he was the selection over Kuminga here. However, Orlando is in need of offense, and Kuminga has a ton of offensive potential as a shot creator and scorer. He’s a wing with superb athleticism, a good looking shot, and long term potential as a defender. He’s raw, and very risky, but the upside could pay off long term if he’s able to develop his skills.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Scottie Barnes 

“Scottie Barnes is a chalk pick but this is a ‘what will they do” mock draft. All indications suggest he will be the Thunder’s man at pick six. While there may be some better options on the board, Barnes fits in very well. OKC is a team that has no immediate timeline which makes them a perfect spot for Barnes to develop offensively. Barnes must still improve his shot and overall shot creating ability in the half court. But considering he will have nothing but time in OKC, this and his amazing defensive skills make him a fine pick.” – Will Locklin

  1. Golden State Warriors – Davion Mitchell

“What Golden State will do with this pick remains extremely unclear. They could trade it, or they could keep it and choose from a plethora of candidates. However, I’ve heard many in Golden State are “enamored” by Davion Mitchell, and that’s who I’m going with here at seven. His combination of tenacious defense, athleticism, and scoring off the dribble should make him a nice bench contributor in the NBA. He’d give the Warriors a needed bench spark and insurance in case Curry leaves next offseason.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Orlando Magic – James Bouknight

“James Bouknight has been another huge riser during the pre-draft process and will almost certainly be a top-10 pick. As I mentioned before, the Magic are in dire need of offensive production, and James Bouknight could certainly provide that. He’s a lethal scoring guard with fluid athleticism, a smooth looking jumper, and an underrated team defender. He’s got plenty of holes with his shot selection, inconsistent defensive motor, and lackluster playmaking, but anyone who can score the way Bouknight can deserves lottery consideration. He didn’t start playing basketball full time until high school as well, so there may be some raw potential for him to tap into.” – Thomas Stapleton

Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports
  1. Sacramento Kings – Franz Wagner  

“There are quite a few directions the Kings could take and they have the potential to really shake up the end of the lottery. However, Wagner is the smart and stable pick they could really use right now. Hopefully the days of the Kings missing on risky upside wings are gone. Wagner brings a steady presence as you know what you’re getting with him. He’s a versatile and active defender who has the right mix of self creation, off ball play, and passing on offense. The Kings struck gold with a high floor player last year so why not do it again.” – Will Locklin

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Moses Moody

“Reports are saying New Orleans is shopping this pick for a veteran piece that’s ready to contribute right away, which makes some sense given the lack of veterans on this roster, and the disgruntlement from Zion Williamson. However, there are no trades in this mock draft, so I’ve got the Pelicans taking Moses Moody here. He’ll be able to make an immediate impact as a 3&D wing, an archetype New Orleans desperately needs. At the same time, Moody also brings some upside as a shot creator and playmaker, and if he untaps that upside, he could become a second or third option on a title contending team.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Charlotte Hornets – Kai Jones

“Getting a big in this year’s draft has to be a priority for the Charlotte Hornets. It’s clear that LaMelo Ball needs an athletic big who can roll to the rim, catch lobs, and finish plays inside. Kai Jones is one of the most incredible athletes in this year’s draft who runs like a gazelle in transition. Him and Ball would help lead one of the most fast paced and exciting teams in the league with their ability to get out and run in transition. Jones also has plenty of upside as a shooter off the dribble, switchable defender, and rim protector if Charlotte can help him reach his ceiling.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Giddey 

“I don’t know why but I get a sneaky feeling the Spurs will go with an international prospect in the first round. A gamble kind of prospect would do them well since they’re stuck in the mud as a franchise. Giddey is a great gamble to take. He’s a jumbo playmaking guard who can become an offensive engine if his scoring comes along. The outside shooting is the main concern for Giddey but Spurs assistant Chip Engelland is known for being the best shooting coach in the business. If Giddey develops a potent jumper then the sky’s the limit.” – Will Locklin 

  1. Indiana Pacers – Corey Kispert

“The Pacers were an extremely mediocre three point shooting team last year, finishing in the bottom half of the league in terms of attempts and percentage from downtown. The return of TJ Warren should help, but many of the Pacers wings are impending free agents, and this team could still use shooting. It’s worth noting the Pacers have shopped this pick in multiple trade discussions, but if they keep this pick, Corey Kispert is definitely a name to keep an eye on for them.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Golden State Warriors – Ziaire Williams

“What are the odds that Golden State is going to draft two rookies to play right away and keep James Wiseman to play as well? I’d say very low. It seems more likely that they’ll draft someone who can contribute right off the bat (Davion Mitchell in this case) and more of a project player they can bring on slowly. Ziaire Williams is one of the most talented players in this draft because of his off the dribble shooting ability, secondary passing chops, and high defensive upside. If it all works out, Williams could be a go-to scoring option. He’s a risk, but a risk Golden State can afford to take and they’re the type of team that could help him reach stardom.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. Washington Wizards – Keon Johnson 

“Yes, the Wizards have their premier guard duo in Beal and Westbrook but the cupboard is pretty bare after that. They need some depth in the backcourt and especially a guy who fits with two ball dominant guards. Johnson is the best vertical athlete in the draft and will thrive as an off ball guard. Him and Westbrook will dominate in the open floor with Westbrook setting up Johnson for easy buckets. Johnson fills a lot of holes the Wizards need: guard depth, off ball guy, transition weapon and lockdown perimeter defender.” – Will Locklin

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Isaiah Jackson

“This pick was easier than some may believe. If you didn’t know already, the Thunder have reportedly given Isaiah Jackson a promise with the 16th overall pick if he is available. I think there’s a very realistic chance he goes higher, but in this mock draft he’s here at 16, so the selection is made easy for me.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaden Springer

“Jaden Springer fits the exact mold of the type of player Memphis may want to take. They’re an analytical minded team who could look at an 18 year old, efficient guard with terrific defense and offensive upside and see value. Realistically, you’d like to pair Ja Morant with a defensive minded guard who can shoot and take some ball-handling responsibilities off him. That’s exactly what Springer can provide. He fits the profile of the type of player they might take and fit-wise it makes perfect sense.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jalen Johnson 

“OKC will stop Johnson’s slide out of the lottery and pick him up at 18. Johnson is a projected lottery pick and like Barnes, he will be given patience to let his offensive game develop. I’m  personally not a big fan of Johnson but it’s unrealistic to think he won’t be drafted in the top 20. Johnson is an athletic wing who provides great defensive instincts and solid off ball play and finishing skills on offense. He’s explosive in transition and is a willing passer in half court settings. Barnes, Jackson and Johnson make up quite the defensive trio.” – Will Locklin

  1. New York Knicks – Sharife Cooper

“Derrick Rose, Frank Nitilikina, and Elfird Payton are all free agents this offseason, which leaves New York with no true point guard on the roster. Luckily, Sharife Cooper happens to be a point guard that provides solid value and a very high ceiling at 19. He’s one of the biggest “boom or bust” prospects in this year’s class, as his three point shot and in-between game remain two huge swing skills for him. However, Cooper has already made a lot of progress this offseason, and there are some positive indicators of a solid floater in the lane for Cooper. It will require some patience, along with a lot of touches and investing in more shooting around him, but Cooper could prove to be a great investment in the coming years if things go right.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Atlanta Hawks – Tre Mann

“Tre Mann and Trae Young would make for one of the best offensive backcourts in all of basketball one day, and I think this can be super beneficial for Atlanta. Mann has very little primary upside but plenty of secondary ball-handler skills. He’s a knockdown shooter with elite ball-handling and superb space creation. Next to Trae Young, he wouldn’t need to be the lead facilitator nor the lead ball-handler. He could work on becoming a better off-ball player while handling creation responsibilities. Having two elite ball-handlers who can shoot threes and generate space off the dribble is the perfect way to build a modern offense in 2021, and that’s what Atlanta does with this pick.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. New York Knicks – Usman Garuba 

“With the Knicks second pick they go with a complete contrast to their first selection in Sharife Cooper. Any way you slice it, Usman Garuba is an elite defensive prospect. Garuba can deter shots at the rim with impeccable timing and reflexes when rotating over. He has an insanely high motor and loves to bait the ball handler into turnovers when covering the pick-and-roll. His combination of perimeter defense, high defensive IQ, and flashes of rim protection should get Thibodeau very excited for what he can mold Garuba into on defense.” – Will Locklin

  1. Los Angeles Lakers – Chris Duarte

“Chris Duarte may be the oldest prospect in this year’s Draft, but he is still seen as a first round prospect by many, including one team that gave him a first round promise. There is speculation as to who gave him that promise, but the Los Angeles Lakers could definitely be that team. Duarte’s age and skill set fit their team and timeline perfectly. He’s a 3&D wing that provides slashing, shooting versatility, and amazing team defense. Duarte is an NBA-ready prospect that can make an immediate impact for the Lakers title contending team.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Houston Rockets – Alperen Sengun

“Alperen Sengun could go in the top 10 or fall to the late 20’s and either way I wouldn’t be surprised. There’s no denying the level of talent, feel, and skill that he has, but the questions about his translation and value make him a volatile projection. Regardless, the Rockets can afford to take a swing with this pick and Sengun forms a super talented offensive frontcourt in Houston. Christian Wood can be the floor-spacing, closeout-attacking stretch big while Sengun runs spread pick and roll with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. He’s also an elite post big with passing chops and potential upside as a shooter. However, the questions regarding his translation and defense make him a polarizing prospect. Like I said before, don’t be shocked to see him go from anywhere in the 8-25 range.” – Thomas Stapleton

Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Houston Rockets – JT Thor 

“With Green and Sengun already selected, the Rockets should take a high upside swing with their last first round pick. Thor is just that and he has lottery level tools and flashes on both ends. Thor has an incredibly enticing physical profile at nearly 6’10 with a 7’3 wingspan. Thor uses his size and length well on the defensive end of the court. He is super mobile and switchable. Very good at guarding both wings and guards on the perimeter. On offense, there’s enough shooting and off the dribble scoring flashes to take a chance on him.” – Will Locklin 

  1. Los Angeles Clippers – Bones Hyland

“Over the past couple months, Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland has really improved his stock, so much to the point where he’s basically a lock to go somewhere in the top-30. The Clippers have really prioritized shooting in their most recent acquisitions, and that happens to be Hyland’s calling card. He’s one of the best shooters in this year’s class. Not to mention, the Clippers point guard room is getting older, and all of their guys are set to be free agents either this season or next. Hyland will be able to step-in immediately and bring instant offense off the bench for the Clippers title contending team.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Denver Nuggets – Josh Primo

“After the performance that Josh Primo had at the combine this year, it’s abundantly clear that he’s going to be a first round pick. He’s the youngest player in this year’s draft and while the numbers are lackluster, the eye test speaks volumes. He’s a smooth three-point shooter and perimeter defender, but could there be more that he can do? He showed off passing ability and creation during the combine scrimmages and it’s worth asking if he has more upside than given credit for. After all, he wasn’t asked to do a whole lot at Alabama this past year. There’s a very real chance there could be some hidden skills that were suppressed during his freshman year for the Crimson Tide. His fit with the Nuggets is perfect, as they’re in prime position to take swing after swing each year in the draft. Primo is a high floor, potentially high ceiling prospect who could be one of the biggest steals of the draft this year.” – Thomas Stapleton 

  1. Brooklyn Nets – Deuce McBride   

“The Brooklyn Nets main priority this offseason certainly isn’t the NBA Draft but that doesn’t mean they can’t add a quality bench piece to their stacked squad. McBride is the perfect combo guard who plays excellent perimeter defense which is what the Nets could use. McBride isn’t a great shooter but he’s very capable off the catch and will be fine with all the floor spacing Brooklyn has. The defensive capabilities should be the main selling point in taking McBride. This team will have guards departing so it makes perfect sense to grab one.” – Will Locklin 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Trey Murphy lll

“The 76ers happen to be a fairly deep team, but there’s always room for improvement. Philadelphia could use some more depth at forward, and even if some want to argue Trey Murphy is more of a wing, he’s still a guy who can play the three and some four. Murphy’s skillset is fairly simple, but he’ll be a successful 3&D guy in the NBA, bringing versatile perimeter defense, amazing catch and shoot ability from deep, and some backdoor cutting from the corner, a spot on the court Daryl Morey values more than most. I believe Murphy will most likely be a first round pick, and he fits the bill of what Morey typically looks for and what type of role player would compliment Philadelphia’s stars well.” – Aidan Maher

  1. Phoenix Suns – Cam Thomas

“It’s been rumored that Cam Thomas has a promise in the mid-to-late first round. It’s just a question of where at this point. Even after an incredible NBA Finals run from the Phoenix Suns, getting a contributor here is still very important. These playoffs clearly showed the importance of ball-handling, shot creation, and shooting. Cam Thomas is an electrifying shot maker with pristine footwork and high upside as a shooter. With Cam Payne’s impending free agency, Phoenix will be in dire need of a shot-creating guard to hold down the fort offensively when Devin Booker and Chris Paul aren’t on the floor. Thomas has high upside and potential to help right away, which is why his fit with Phoenix makes perfect sense.” – Thomas Stapleton

  1. Utah Jazz – Jared Butler  

“Butler is in an unfortunate and unpredictable spot at this point in the draft cycle. He’s a no doubt first round prospect but the heart problems are a major deterrent. If he can get a clean bill of health from a doctor then he should return into first round conversations. Jazz could use a scrappy on ball defender with a well rounded offensive game. Utah’s perimeter defense is a major issue and Butler was one of the best on ball defenders in college basketball last year. He wouldn’t solve all the problems but it’s at least a start for Utah.” – Will Locklin  

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