3 keys to turning the Houston Rockets’ woeful season around

Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets, Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets, Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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Victor Wembanyama, Houston Rockets(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama, Houston Rockets(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets: To tank or not to tank?

Pretending to ignore something that is painfully obvious is often referred to as “the elephant in the room.” This year, the clear contradiction in the Houston Rockets’ season is the fact that there is a not-so-subtle benefit to their losing trend. If they keep losing games at this rate, they will be tied for the most draft lottery entries, giving them a chance at potential generational talent in Victor Wembanyama.

Of course, having the worst record in the NBA doesn’t guarantee that a team will get the number one pick the very next season, but many view Wembanyama as being worth the risk. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, let’s take a moment to examine what makes Wembanyama so special.

1. You can’t teach height. Some websites list the prospect out of France as being 7’4″, while others list him as 7’3″. Regardless, his height is not exaggerated, as he was seen towering over current Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, who is 7’1″ without shoes on.

2. He moves like a guard. We’ve heard this before, but in Wembanyama’s case, it is true. Not only has he been evaluated by the best talent scouts, but he has also played against the best amateur talent the world has to offer.

Whether it is other EuroLeague professional teams or the G-League Ignite, Wembanyana has shown that the rumors are true. He has the footwork and coordination normally reserved for players a foot shorter than he is. The fact that he has none of the awkwardness that ails many seven-footers makes him that much more desirable.

3. He’s only getting better. Wembanyama began playing professional basketball when he was 15 years old. By the time of the upcoming draft, he will be a 19-year-old veteran with four seasons of professional basketball under his belt.

In recent years, we’ve seen players like Luka Doncic and LaMelo Ball leverage their previous professional tenures into instant success in the NBA. Both of the aforementioned players went on to win Rookie of the Year and will be mainstays among NBA superstars for years to come. Wembanyama looks to follow their trajectory.

For those reasons, the Houston Rockets must seriously weigh how much energy they want to put into improving this season’s outcome. Tanking is an ugly concept in the world of professional sports, and no one wants to think about it, let alone verbally admit it. Yet the phrase “generational talent” is rarely uttered, and when it is, it would be foolish to ignore it all together.