Roster moves, starting grid projection and training camp storylines to follow

The Houston Rockets had a disappointing 2020-21 NBA season, but are looking to turn that around in 2021-22. The Rockets finished the season with a 17-55 record, the worst record in the NBA. That record earned them second overall pick in the 2021 draft. The Rockets have a solid talent with Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., Kenyon Martin Jr., Eric Gordon and John Wall if he plays this season.

The Houston Rockets roster is moving so far in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Houston Rockets 2nd overall pick Jalen Green drives into the paint“/>
Houston Rockets 2nd overall pick Jalen Green drives into the paint

Other than Daniel Theis, who joined the Rockets in a sign-and-trade, the Houston Rockets made no free agent transfers. That shouldn’t surprise you, as most free agents pick teams that will compete for the playoffs. But rest assured, the Rockets aren’t worried about that after the draft class they just brought in.

By the end of the first round of the 2021 NBA draft, the Rockets had made four rosters, essentially achieving a quick reset on their roster. The Rockets selected Jalen Green as second overall, Alperen Sengun 16th overall, Usman Garuba 23rd overall and Josh Christopher 24th overall.

Houston Rocket big man Alperen Sengun was one of the most impressive rookies during the NBA Summer League. Jalen Green will get all the attention for the new Rockets, but don’t sleep on the former Turkish League MVP who finished 16th overall: basketballnews.com/stories/alpere…

Each player brings a different play style. Green and Christopher are high scorers from the wing position, but are skilled enough to influence games now. Sengun is a technically gifted offensive power forward who needs some time to grow in defense. Garuba is the opposite of Sengun, as he will bring defensive power right away, but little to no offensive output.

Except for Kelly Olynyk, who left in free agency, no key player left the team this offseason. Avery Bradley left for free agency, but only appeared in 17 games for the Rockets.

Key Storylines for Houston Rockets Training Camp

Houston Rockets point guard John Wall with the ball

The Rockets lined up both Green and Christopher, who all share a similar playstyle to Porter. They are all tall scorers who are inconsistent shooters with little defensive effort. If the plan was to get three young James Hardens, the Rockets succeeded.

Which of these three young players will become the cornerstone of the Rockets organization? This season, the Rockets front office will help sort that out.

#2 How good can Christian Wood be?

Every year Christian Wood bounces around the league in search of a home, and every year he has improved as a player. It all came together last season with 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. This was after the Houston Rockets signed him to a $41 million three-year contract.

It looked like Wood was on track to make an NBA All-Star Game, but injuries derailed his season.

Can Wood continue to improve as he enters that second year of his contract? The likely answer is yes, even more so, as he became even more dominant when paired with Porter Jr. who led the attack. With more time to build the attack around Wood, he could grow even more this season.

#3 What will happen to the veterans?

The Houston Rockets have made a clear statement in the design that they want to rearrange their young design choices. Players like Eric Gordon and John Wall may not play a role if this season is all about nurturing the young talent.

Second, the Rockets have a lot of money in both Gordon and Wall, which together will make $68 million. Wall will make $44 million from that number, but both contracts will be hard to trade. You would hope that both would play well enough to justify a decent trading offer that doesn’t require you to give up future picks.

Since Wall isn’t expected to play at all this season, the question is what to do with these well-paid, aging players on the Rockets.

Predicted starting grid for Houston Rockets heading into the 2021-22 NBA season

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr.Read also

It would be great to see the Rockets roll out with all four rookies in game one of the season, but they probably won’t. Porter and Wood earned the right to be starters after last season, and Gordon could get a start to increase his trade value. It would also be hard not to start the player you selected in second overall.

Point guard -Kevin Porter Jr. | Shooting Guard – Jalen Green | small forward – Eric Gordon | Power forward -Kenyon Martin Jr. | Centre -Christian Wood

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