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The Houston Rockets are on track to wrap up their third straight season in the Western Conference and changes should be on the way for a franchise that hasn’t had the slightest bit of success since James Harden departed midway through the 2020-21 season.
Things have been so bad in Houston lately that ESPNs Jonathan Giveny said during a performance The Lowe Post Podcast that “you just don’t hear good things” about the team’s culture and locker room.
“When you talk to people in the NBA about Houston, you just don’t hear good things about their culture, about their dressing room,” Givony said. “People who are on this team say, ‘We’re a mess.'”
The Rockets, who entered the 2022-23 season at 23.58 as the second-youngest team in the NBA, lack leadership as they try to navigate the post-Harden era.
Houston’s starting lineup, if everyone is healthy, would likely be Kevin Porter Jr. (22), Jalen Green (21), Kenyon Martin Jr. (22), Jabari Smith Jr. (19) and Alperen Şengün (20). The team’s oldest player is 34-year-old Boban Marjanović, who has averaged just 4.4 minutes per game in 19 competitions this season.
The Rockets have been a mess this season. While they rank bottom in the Western Conference with a 13-45 record, they also have the NBA’s worst offense with a 109.2 rating and the league’s third-worst defense with a 117.8 rating.
The team’s struggles keep Houston in contention for the No. 1 pick overall in the 2023 NBA draft, which would give him a chance to pick Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, widely considered the top player in this year’s class.
However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst questioned Wembanyama’s fit in Houston during a recent performance The Tony Kornheiser Show (with Josh Criswell from Chron.com):
“I think Houston is dangerous for everyone because this team is out of control. They are completely destroyed and collapsed [head coach] Stephen Silas who is a good man but can’t handle the rogue operation that has become. Right now pretty much everything the Rockets are doing is a mess, so if I were Victor I’d be a little concerned for Houston.”
Wembanyama has said it doesn’t matter where he ends up on draft day, which comes as no surprise as he’s a generational talent with the tools and skills to revitalize whatever franchise chooses him, including the Rockets.
Adding Wembanyama would allow the Rockets to speed up their rebuild process and hopefully fix the mess that’s created in the dressing room.