Here's what lies ahead for Houston Rockets after scoring big on Draft night

The Rockets drafted Amen Thompson number four overall. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets are attempting to turn the corner. Gone are the days of trusting the process. No more lovable losers. So long to constantly scouting the NCAA, G League, overseas, and any other haven for young talent. There will be no more last, next to last, or closest to last place finishes. It's time to look towards the play-in slots, playoff positioning, playoff tickets, themes for playoff game giveaways, and all that comes with winning.

While they didn't win the lottery to draft French Ralph Sampson, they got another very high pick and took Amen Thompson at number four, then got what most consider a steal in Cam Whitmore at number 20. Neither guy is franchise altering. I expect both should be contributors on a team competing for at least a seven to 10 spot in the Western Conference this season. Adding them to a young core that's growing and getting better while mixing in a good young coach in Ime Udoka, who's proven to get the most out of his players, is a recipe for success.

Amen Thompson has been described by some as one of the best athletes in the draft. He's a big guard who loves pushing the ball and can find his teammates. He's an adept passer that always wants to make the right play. His outside shooting needs work. At 6'7 and 215lbs, he has an NBA body and played last season in Overtime Elite (a pro league for 16-20 year olds looking to get to the next level outside of college, Europe, or the G League). His work ethic is evidenced by his backstory. His family created a vision board for he and his twin brother Ausar (picked at number five by the Pistons). They followed the plan, which consisted of dad and the twins moving to Florida to further pursue their ultimate goal. That type of work ethic and dedication in a 20-year-old rookie is what you want to see in a guy you draft this high.

Cam Whitmore is a 6'7 232lb forward who can do a number of things. Seen as a top five talent before the draft, falling to number 20 should undoubtedly motivate him. He was one of four Power Five freshman last season to record at least 25 dunks and 25 threes. The other three guys were also drafted in the first round (Jarace Walker at eight, Taylor Hendricks at nine, and Noah Clowney at 21). He fell in the draft due to some effort and intensity concerns at workouts and practices. There were also some medical concerns. When it came time to play, he always stood out. I think once Whitmore gets around other young pros and sees how competitive it is, he'll blossom. Udoka will know exactly how to get the best out of him and where to use him most effectively.

I can see Thompson being the lead guard this team has been looking for. If they bring in a vet through free agency, I could see him being another athletic wing, and/or lead guard of the second unit. Whitmore will play a Tari Eason/KJ Martin role on this team. He'll be the switch wing defender who can shoot the spot up three, or slash and make highlight reel dunks. A real three and D guy with a frame big enough to handle the rigors of the league.

Getting two top five talents with the picks they had was good work by the organization. Now it's up to the players and staff to maximize each guy's potential. I'm looking forward to seeing this team and what they can do. Pieces are coming together nicely. We're seeing athletic guys who can play and defend multiple positions, while having more skills than just being really athletic. Free agency is up next. My guess is the team will continue to add the right pieces. My hope is that the price is right.

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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