Things have changed pretty drastically for the Houston Rockets in a short period of time. For the better part of the last decade, the Rockets were a consistent contender led by a perennial MVP candidate in James Harden. Now, they're a lottery team heading into their second straight rebuilding season following the trade that sent Harden to Brooklyn in January.
Houston finished dead last in the Western Conference standings last season, and they're not projected to fare much better during their upcoming campaign. The good news for Rockets fans, though, is that the team has been able to quickly amass a lot of young talent. Guys like Kevin Porter Jr., Kenyon Martin Jr., and Jae'Sean Tatehave shown a lot of potential. The team also used the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Jalen Green, who is potentially a generational perimeter player. If those players are ultimately able to reach their potential, individually and collectively, the Rockets could be back in the contender conversation in short order. With that said, here's a look at Houston's roster and three key storylines to watch ahead of the '21-22 season.
Houston Rockets roster
Guards: D.J. Augustin, Armoni Brooks, Josh Christopher, Dante Exum, Eric Gordon, Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, Khyri Thomas, John Wall
Forwards: Usman Garuba, Danuel House Jr., Matt Hurt, Anthony Lamb, Kenyon Martin Jr., David Nwaba, Kevin Porter Jr., Jae'Sean Tate, Christian Wood
Centers: Alperen Sengun, Daniel Theis
1. All eyes on Jalen Green
The Rockets could have gone in a bunch of different directions with the second overall pick in the '21 draft, as the class was widely considered to be a deep one. They ultimately went with Green, and for good reason, since he has an extremely high ceiling. How high? Hall-of-Fame-level high, according to CBS Sports' Colin Ward-Henninger, who compared Green to Clyde Drexler prior to the draft. Here's what he had to say