What Makes Fil-Am Jalen Green An Intriguing Pick For Rebuilding Rockets?

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Jalen Green at the 2021 NBA Draft
JULY 29: Jalen Green poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City.

The NBA Draft is one of the most exciting events for basketball fans as they get to see the future stars of the league.

The Detroit Pistons were gifted with the first overall pick thanks to a 20-win season, which they used to select Cade Cunningham.

Drafting second, the Houston Rockets still had a wealth of talent to select such as big man Evan Mobley from USC, Scottie Barnes from Florida State and Jalen Suggs from Gonzaga.

However, with a rebuild in full swing, the Rockets are looking for an immediate franchise-changing draft pick that they can develop in the coming years. Enter Jalen Green.

The Filipino-American was selected second by the Rockets, and his route to the NBA is an unconventional one.

The most common route to the NBA is by playing for an NCAA school and then hope to get drafted.

But with LaMelo Ball leading the charge of unusual, yet highly viable, methods to enter the NBA, Green took a third route.

Green opted to enter the NBA G League with the Ignite team, a team composed of prospects and veterans alike, alongside heavily-touted 7-footer Filipino prospect Kai Sotto last year.

However, plans changed for Sotto as he decided to come home to play for his country’s national team during the recently concluded FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in which the “Kaiju” showed off what made him such an interesting prospect in the first place.

Jalen Green
FEBRUARY 18: Jalen Green #4 of the G League Ignite passes around Louis King #2 of the Westchester Kicks during a G-League game against the Westchester Knicks at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on February 18, 2021 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Photo: Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Green had his sights set on the NBAm but few know who he is in the first place.

The 19-year-old who stands at 6-foot-6, 180 pounds is an explosive scorer that can easily make his way to the rim using his speed and athleticism.

His footwork is very much exceptional as well as he can blow by his defenders with a simple jab step or decide to pull up much like Carmelo Anthony in the midrange.

His three-point shot has only gotten better over the years as scouts then mentioned that his lack of a reliable jumper from deep will hold him back from reaching the next level.

In 15 games with the Ignite, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, making him an intriguing prospect.

Ignite coach Brian Shaw had nothing but nice words to say about Green going into the draft, likening him to Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I’ve been around, obviously, Kobe Bryant when he was young, Pau Gasol when he was young and there’s something that those guys have in common. Jalen has that mentality, that competitiveness, that will to win regardless of what it is,” said Shaw.

The Rockets now have a core of Green, Kevin Porter Jr., Christian Wood and John Wall going into this season.

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