2023 NBA Draft: The Houston Rockets selected Villanova’s Cam Whitmore 20th overall

Cam Whitmore

After enduring a longer-than-anticipated wait on draft day, Cam Whitmore, the highly-touted basketball prospect, finally found his NBA destination. Selected 20th overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2023 NBA Draft, Whitmore’s professional career is set to take off. Although he slipped in the draft from his projected top-10 status, the 6-foot-7 wing brings an impressive skill set and potential to the Rockets, who are eager to mold him into a star player alongside their young talent.

Whitmore’s journey to the NBA has been impressive, as he became Villanova’s first one-and-done player since Tim Thomas in 1997. The talented young player follows in the footsteps of previous first-round draftees from Villanova, such as Saddiq Bey in 2020. Over the past decade, Villanova has seen a total of nine players drafted, with six of them going in the first round.

At the NBA Draft Combine, Whitmore showcased his athletic abilities, impressing scouts with a 40.5-inch maximum vertical leap and solid results in speed and agility tests. Being only 18 years old, Whitmore’s potential for growth and development made him an enticing prospect for the Rockets, who have a young and promising roster that includes Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.

The Draft Day Slide:

While Whitmore was initially projected as a top-10 pick, his draft-day journey took an unexpected turn. Teams expressed concerns regarding his workouts, interviews, and reported issues surrounding his health, intensity, and practice performance. These concerns ultimately contributed to his slide down the draft board. However, the Houston Rockets recognized the potential in Whitmore and saw an opportunity to harness his talent and mold him into a key contributor to their young and promising roster.

A Stellar College Career of Cam Whitmore:

Whitmore’s journey to the NBA began with a standout season at Villanova University. Despite missing the initial seven games of the 2022-23 season, he quickly made his presence felt, averaging 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. His exceptional performance earned him the prestigious Big East Freshman of the Year honors. Whitmore’s ability to contribute immediately as a true one-and-done player made him a valuable asset for Villanova, following in the footsteps of previous Wildcats who had success in the NBA.


Houston Rockets’ Vision:

The Rockets, known for their focus on player development, proved to be an ideal landing spot for Whitmore. As one of the NBA’s youngest teams, they finished the previous season with a record of 22-60. The team already boasts promising talents like Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., making it an exciting environment for Whitmore to grow and thrive. With his impressive physical attributes, including a 40.5-inch max vertical leap, speed, and agility, Whitmore brings a unique skill set to the team that complements their style of play.

The Road Ahead:

Whitmore’s journey in Houston begins with the opportunity to put any doubts or concerns behind him. At just 18 years old, he has ample room for growth and development within the Rockets’ system. The organization’s commitment to player development, coupled with Whitmore’s potential, presents an exciting prospect for both parties. With hard work, dedication, and guidance from the coaching staff, Whitmore has the potential to become a key contributor and an integral part of the Rockets’ future success.

Conclusion: Cam Whitmore’s selection as the 20th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2023 NBA Draft marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in his basketball journey. While his slide in the draft may have surprised some, the Rockets recognize his untapped potential and are eager to mold him into a star player.

Whitmore’s impressive college career, coupled with his physical attributes, makes him a promising addition to the young and talented roster in Houston. As he embarks on his NBA journey, all eyes will be on Whitmore as he strives to fulfill his potential and make a significant impact for the Rockets in the seasons to come.

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