3 reasons why Chet Holmgren is the perfect No. 3 pick for the Rockets in the 2022 NBA Draft

The Houston Rockets may have fallen to the third overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft lottery. However, they were still able to leave with one of the top three prospects: Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr.

The downside to picking No. 3 is that the Rockets can’t choose which of those three they get. Right now, the likely order appears to be Smith to the Orlando Magic first, and Holmgren to be drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Banchero would certainly be a strong addition that could be a strong scorer alongside Jaylen Green.

However, if the Rockets have the opportunity to acquire Holmgren, they should take that opportunity. Houston’s openness to trading the third overall pick is smart, but if Holmgren is available, they should close all possible deals.

While Gonzaga’s lanky 7-foot frame might raise concerns about his durability at a pro level, his basketball skills won’t. He’s an amazing player and a perfect fit at the 3.

3 reasons why Chet Holmgren is the perfect No. 3 pick for the Rockets in the 2022 NBA Draft

3. Fit Jalen Green

The Rockets just had a fantastic season for Green, one of two rookies averaging 17 points per game (along with Cade Cunningham). Houston needs to find another future star for him to develop. What would the ideal running mate look like for him?

Because Green is so athletic and has 3-point potential, it would be wise for him to find someone who can shoot him high and find him in the open. Holmgren would give the Rockets another big man who could play for him. He and Alperen Sengun can do this concatenate.

Of course, Green can handle the ball on his own, so Houston should look for someone he can throw high. Holmgren’s 7-foot-6 wingspan and shooting touch around the rim make him a good target. Oh, he can shoot threes. He averaged 3.3 attempts per game and shot 39.0 percent from the field. The Rockets can also mix it up and throw pick-and-rolls there.

Pairing Holmgren with Green would give the Rockets a one-two punch. Green can grow into an offensive superstar. However, the defense may be lacking. Holmgren can support him and the entire team in that area.

2. Possible defensive cornerstones

If Holmgren doesn’t become the cornerstone of the Rockets’ defense, he’ll be the next best pick. Like last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Evan Mobley, he’s a tall, quick, smart defender who overcomes his slender frame by competing for every shot in his zone code.

While Holmgren and Mobley aren’t a one-to-one comparison, the Gonzaga star displayed an impressive combination of versatility and rim protection. In his only season at Gonzaga, he averaged 3.7 blocks and 0.8 steals per game in 26.9 minutes. The Rockets were terrible in every way last season, but especially badly on the defensive end. One reason they’re so bad is that they shoot the most from within five feet.

Holmgren will adjust to bigger players and prove he can still move his feet well against better offenses. Still, he has the potential to be the best defensive player in this year’s draft and could be the linchpin of the Rockets’ defense, especially if the teams around him improve.

1. Sky-high price potential

Holmgren is one of the three best players in this year’s draft and has a good chance of being the best. That was enough for the Rockets to select him with the third overall pick.

In addition to his excellent defense, he is also surprisingly versatile on offense. The shooting ability of a person of this size is rare. While Holmgren might not be a strong tackler in the halfcourt, he can reliably do everything else. Houston just needs one good player, and the lanky Gonzaga Swiss Army Knife is just that.

The Rockets will have such a well-rounded big man progressing around them next season and into the future.

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