The Houston Rockets nailed the NBA Draft and have a bright future to look forward to. Houston made three selections in the draft, with the 3rd, 17th, and 29th overall picks.
The Rockets finished the season with the worst record in the league at 20-62. However, the season wasn’t all bad, as some young players showed potential. 2021 2nd overall pick Jalen Green had a good rookie campaign, showing he can be an elite scorer.
Green will be able to grow more as they add more young talent around him.
With that said, here are draft grades for every pick the Houston Rockets made in the 2022 NBA Draft.
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Houston Rockets 2022 NBA Draft Grades
3rd overall- Jabari Smith: A+
Entering the draft, it was widely expected that Jabari Smith would be selected number one overall by the Orlando Magic. Orlando surprised many by selecting Paolo Banchero, leaving Smith to fall to three to the Rockets. Smith is a highly talented prospect that will be an immediate difference make for Houston.
He had a good season in college and has unreal potential. Smith averaged 16.9 points per game along with 7.4 rebounds. He shot 42.9 percent from the field and 42 percent from behind the arc. While Smith isn’t an elite defender, he contributes on that end and did so with 1.1 steals and one block per contest.
His shooting ability as a big makes him hard to defend. He should emerge as one of the Rockets’ best players in his rookie season.
17th overall- Tari Eason: A
One of the best defenders in the draft is Tari Eason. Houston was able to select him with the 17th pick, and he fills a need of a defensive forward.
Eason also had a good season offensively at LSU, averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. He shot 52.1 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from downtown.
Eason’s defensive skills showed with 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks a game. The Rockets have Jae’Sean Tate but lack another reliable forward to put in the lineup. Eason can fill this role and play great defense alongside the young core like Green, Porter Jr., and Smith.
His defensive ability and solid scoring will make him a reliable player for the future.
29th overall- TyTy Washington: A
TyTy Washington was a late first-round steal for the Rockets as he fell down the board. Washington can come in and be a solid backup guard for Houston in his rookie campaign.
He averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 35 percent from downtown.
Washington is a streaky shooter but can score at all three levels. He is a decent passer and can score on or off the ball. He does not have a quick first step, which is not ideal for a guard of his size at 6’3”.
However, Washington should still have an impact off the bench for the Rockets in year one.
Houston has had a solid offseason so far, as they unloaded Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, which opened up space for Alperen Sengun and Smith to get minutes. The young core is primed to grow and be a lethal team for the future.
Green and Smith can be an elite duo, especially in the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop.
The Rockets should be a team to be reckoned with for years to come.