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    Jalen Green drafted No. 2 overall as key piece in Rockets rebuild

    Jul 30, 2021
    PHOTO: AP

    HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets selected Jalen Green with the second overall pick in Thursday night’s (Friday, Manila time) NBA Rookie Draft.

    Green joins a team that is rebuilding after sinking to an NBA-worst 17-55 last season after James Harden forced a trade to Brooklyn to end a streak of eight consecutive playoff trips.

    Green is Houston’s first first-round pick since the Rockets selected Sam Dekker with the 18th pick in 2015 and their highest pick since they took Yao Ming first overall in 2002.

    Jalen Green NBA Draft

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    The shooting guard comes to the Rockets after going straight from high school in California to the NBA G-League with the Ignite. The 6-foot-6, 186-pound Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game for the Ignite last season.

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    The 19-year-old was a McDonald’s All-American in 2020 after averaging 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and five assists a game as a high school senior at Prolific Prep.

    Harden’s trade came after Houston shipped Russell Westbrook to Washington in December for John Wall and future draft picks.

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    The Rockets dealt one of their last remaining veterans in March when they traded P.J. Tucker to Milwaukee in a swap that netted Houston the No. 24 pick in this year’s draft. Houston had back-to-back picks late in the first round as they also have the 23rd pick, which the team got from Portland in a trade for Robert Covington in 2020.

    It’s the first draft for general manager Rafael Stone, who was promoted from within the organization after Daryl Morey stepped down to take a job with the Philadelphia 76ers in October.

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      PHOTO: AP
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