Jalen Green Reportedly Only Plans to Work out for Pistons, Rockets Before NBA Draft
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It doesn’t appear Jalen Green expects to fall past the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA draft.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Green will work out for the Detroit Pistons, who have the top overall selection. He’s also reportedly “currently only planning on conducting one additional workout” with the Houston Rockets, who follow Detroit in the draft.
Cade Cunningham is widely expected to land with Detroit, so that would seemingly lock Green in with Houston.
Givony reported June 29 teams around the league believed the Rockets value the G League Ignite star more than USC big man Evan Mobley. Zach Harper of The Athletic described the team as “heavily leaning toward” Green and that Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs was in the mix too.
Kevin Porter Jr. played well after joining the Rockets midway through the season, averaging 16.6 points and 6.3 assists. But Green is the kind of dynamic scorer and playmaker who can be the franchise cornerstone for the future.
The 19-year-old put up 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game during his one season in the NBA G League.
The emergence of Christian Wood as a valuable starting option at the 5 also lowers the need to add another frontcourt player such as Mobley so early in the draft.
The situation could be this straightforward, in which case Mobley likely winds up with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Action Network’s Matt Moore reported the Cavs have turned their focus toward the 7-footer with the belief Green will be off the board.
Should the Rockets shock everyone and take Mobley or Suggs instead, Cleveland could be stuck in a difficult position. Green would be available in this scenario, but Cavs personnel may not have gotten to see him work out ahead of the draft.
While acknowledging the two things may not have been connected, Givony reported during the 2018 draft that Cleveland passed on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander after he indicated he didn’t want to play for the team. The Cavaliers selected Collin Sexton instead.
Based on Tuesday’s report, Green isn’t singling the Cavs out since he also omitted the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic, who pick fourth and fifth, respectively.
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