NBA Draft

Rockets select Fil-Am Jalen Green 2nd overall in 2021 NBA Draft

JR Isaga
Rockets select Fil-Am Jalen Green 2nd overall in 2021 NBA Draft

TOP TWO. NBA commissioner Adam Silver congratulates Jalen Green after being selected as the No. 2 overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Fil-Am star Jalen Green becomes only the third player with Filipino heritage to be drafted in the NBA

The Houston Rockets drafted Fil-Am star prospect Jalen Green with the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday, July 29 (Friday, July 30, Manila time).

The 6-foot-5 guard, who traces his roots to Ilocos Sur, is only the third player with Filipino heritage to be drafted in the NBA after Raymond Townsend in 1978, and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson in 2014.

A pioneer product of the new NBA G League Ignite pathway program, Green is expected to revitalize a rebuilding Rockets team that dropped to a league-worst 17-65 record in the 2020-2021 season following the trade of longtime centerpiece James Harden.

The 19-year-old high-flyer is entering quite a crowded backcourt in Houston, as he will have to share playing time with key rotation guards like John Wall, Kevin Porter Jr., and Eric Gordon.

Green will then likely see time in the small forward position with the small-ball savvy Rockets, who have notably slotted 6-foot-5 players like Jae’Sean Tate, Danuel House, and current Milwaukee Bucks stalwart PJ Tucker as power forwards, and even centers.

Regardless of what his position will be, he will certainly provide a three-level scoring punch with flashes of alert perimeter defense on the side.

Green finished his season with Ignite averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals on 46% shooting, and 37% from three.

The Fil-Am teen standout was selected behind top pick Cade Cunningham, who went to the Detroit Pistons.  

Cunningham, 19, of Oklahoma State gives Detroit an NBA-ready, 6-foot-8 point guard.

He was named the Big 12 Player of the Year after his one season with the Cowboys and joins a Pistons squad that picked three players in the first round of last year’s draft and finished last season 20-52. 

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– Rappler.com