Houston Rockets Draft: Evan Mobley vs Jalen Green

NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets got unlucky on Tuesday night. With the potential of getting the No. 1 overall pick and Cade Cunningham, they walked away with No. 2 as the Detroit Pistons clinched the top selection. Since Cunningham is most likely gone, barring the Pistons completely messing up their future once again, the second selection is the one everyone is talking about. It looks to be a two-horse race at number 2.

Simply put, Evan Mobley is the ideal big man in today’s NBA. He’s not an elite 3-point shooting big but he definitely has the potential to get there early in his NBA career. The shot-blocking ability is expected from him as he stands at 7’0″ tall. Early in his career, he’ll have trouble in the paint because he wasn’t facing centers and power forwards in college that will be as physically imposing and dominant as he will in the NBA.

The Houston Rockets fell to the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery. With Cade Cunningham probably gone, it’s Evan Mobley or Jalen Green.

He has a 7’4″ wingspan which allows him to be that dominant shot blocker and a force around the rim. When taking jump shots it forces defenders to close out to the point where he could draw easy foul calls. Pairing him alongside Christian Wood would allow the Rockets to have two stretch bigs on the court at once and completely open up the offense. If Cade Cunningham, a generational talent, wasn’t in this class, Mobley would be the unanimous first overall selection and there wouldn’t be a discussion. The risk of drafting Mobley is that he could end up faring like Marvin Bagley did from a couple of seasons ago.

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Going to play for the G-League Ignite team was the smartest career move that Jalen Green could have possibly made. His explosiveness and scoring ability are already at an NBA level and he has legitimate potential to be a 20 point per game scorer and future All-Star. He’s a good ball-handler and has a unique command of the floor as a prototypical two-guard.

His ability to score the ball has led to comparisons to the late Kobe Bryant and Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine. Depending on where you look, Green comes in at around 6’6” but declined to get his measurements taken at the combine. Regardless of whether he’s an inch taller or an inch shorter, he’s got the build to be a successful NBA two-guard. He’s played against G-League players and saw great success in his time in the G-League.

Playing against NBA-level talent has made him a much more favorable prospect when compared to Mobley but that’s because of the experience. No matter how his development progresses, Green will have a spot on an NBA roster because of his consistent ability to score with the best of them. The risk of drafting Green is that he really doesn’t seem like a “can’t miss” prospect and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he falls flat against the real NBA competition.

Both Mobley and Green would be day one starters for the Houston Rockets. They each have their downside just because of the way the roster is already constructed, but as prospects, they each have tremendous upside. A frontcourt of Christian Wood and Evan Mobley would be one of the best young frontcourts in the NBA while the guard duo of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green could be the best pair we see for the next couple of seasons.

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