Houston Rockets Draft Picks 2023 – The Top Thompson Twin and a Huge Steal?

The Houston Rockets may have had a great draft night to give new coach Ime Udoka a better chance of success right away in the 2023-24 season. The Rockets left the draft with two first-round picks, including a top prospect with another high pick, and a player who was thought to go top 5 himself before falling drastically to No. 20.

We look at the Houston Rockets draft picks 2023 below, including a grade for the night.

Amen Thompson
Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

No. 4 Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)

  • Position: Point guard
  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 200 (91 kg)
  • College/Club: City Reapers (Overtime Elite)
  • Born: San Leandro, California

The Thompson twins are looking to put the Overtime Elite (OTE) on the map as a legitimate path for young basketball prospects to bypass college and go right to the NBA. Amen and his twin brother Ausar Thompson both went in the top 5 with back-to-back picks Thursday night. Ausar went to Orlando while Amen will be the new point guard in Houston, which has used high picks on elite prospects in the last two drafts (Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr.).

Thompson may not be a prospect on that level, but he is a great playmaker and should lead the team in assists while also being a solid shooter in his own right. The Thompson twins helped the City Reapers to the championship last season in the OTE.

With Green and Smith establishing themselves as scorers in Houston, Thompson could be the right fit in this young trio to play the facilitator role and make life easier for them. Ausar is a better shooter than Amen, but he will have time to improve that aspect of his game, and he is one of the best athletes in this class.

No. 20 Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

  • Position: Small forward
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 235 (107 kg)
  • College: Villanova

Whitmore is the first Villanova player to go one-and-done since Tim Thomas in 1997, but it was a long wait on Thursday night for the forward who does not turn 19 until early July. Generally speaking, it is probably a bad thing when a player projected to go in the top 5 falls all the way to No. 20, but let’s hope the concern is squarely medical and that everything will be fine for Whitmore.

He averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game for Villanova last season. He also shot 34.3% from 3-point territory and has good size and athleticism. The Rockets do not need him to be a huge scorer and can bring him along slowly, but he has good two-way potential and can eventually become a starter with Green, Smith, and Thompson.

Whitmore did have a thumb injury that sidetracked him early last season, and there were some reports of unimpressive team interviews in the draft process. But Whitmore found a home at No. 20 with Houston, and it could end up being a good fit for both sides.

Houston Rockets Draft Grade: A

The Rockets need to start turning things around after spending so much draft capital on franchise building blocks, and with a good player’s coach in Udoka joining the team, this is a great time to be in Houston.

When the team arguably landed two top 10 talents in this class, it is hard not to be excited about the potential of Thompson and Whitmore in Houston. But there is no doubt some risk associated with these picks based on the caliber of the OTE competition and Whitmore’s medical report.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!