The Houston Rockets Have Taken Great Big Men With High Draft Picks: Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon, And Yao Ming

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The Houston Rockets will be entitled to the second-overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, which gives them plenty of options to get their next franchise player to kick-off the post-James Harden era.

The Rockets already have some nice young pieces in Kevin Porter Jr, Christian Wood, Jae'Sean Tate, and K.J. Martin, plus veterans like John Wall and Eric Gordon; so adding a top-tier talent to their roster could help them take a leap forward next season.

And, considering that Cade Cunningham is most likely going to be the first-overall pick, it seems like the Rockets could lean towards drafting Evan Mobley out of USC.

This wouldn't be a surprise given that Mobley has a sky-high upside. He can jump off the roof, defend the paint, guard the perimeter, and even showed a promising ability to knock down shots from mid and long-range.

Also, the Houston Rockets have done great when it comes to landing elite big men in the NBA Draft, as they've proved throughout history.

They got Elvin Hayes with the 1st pick in 1968, then Ralph Sampson in 1983 with the 1st overall pick. Later, they got Hakeem Olajuwon - their best player ever - with the 1st overall pick in 1984 and Yao Ming with that same pick in 2002.

So, should Mobley land in Houston, he'd be joining some truly elite company of big men taken with high picks. All of them are Hall of Famers.

There's still a lot of time left before the Draft and nothing is set in stone right now. The Rockets could even look to trade the pick in order to compete right away.

But, even if there isn't something such as a 'can't miss kind of player', Evan Mobley surely looks like the closest thing to that distinction.

Credit: Statline