The annual NBA GM survey is out and while the Rockets aren’t projected to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy, GMs across the league believe the Rockets No. 2 pick could take home some hardware.
According to top league execs, Jalen Green is their choice to win Rookie of the Year with 47 percent of the vote. Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, was second with 40 percent of the vote and Jalen Suggs of Orlando was third with 7 percent.
Although execs are high on Green winning ROY, they have the young Rockets rookie as third in terms of rookies who will be best in class within the next five years. Evan Mobley, who the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted No. 3 overall, is the long-term love of execs with 33 percent of the vote. Cunningham was second with 30 percent and Green was third with 23 percent. For context, five years ago the NBA GMs voted Ben Simmons to be the best pro from his rookie class over a five-year stretch and Simmons has earned three All-Star appearances, two All-NBA Defensive first-team selections, Rookie of the Year and was named third-team All NBA in 2019-2020.
Rockets big man Alperen Sengun was considered the second-best steal in the draft when the Rockets selected him with the 16th overall pick. Given his stats during summer league, having 20 percent of NBA GMs vouch for your talent is a hat tip to Rockets’ GM Rafael Stone.
For their collective efforts, the Rockets were voted second best young core in the league behind the Atlanta Hawks and were tied with the Brooklyn Nets for having the third-best offseason overall, trailing behind the Lakers and Miami Heat.
The Rockets’ preseason kicks off on Tuesday (October 5) with a game against the Washington Wizards.