Rockets rookie shooting guard Jalen Green has given perhaps the best showing in the NBA Summer League.
Green was selected second overall in the 2021 draft. He said he had hoped to go first — as long as it wasn’t to the team that actually owned the first overall pick.
“I wanted to be the No. 1 pick, but as for the location, I didn’t want to be in Detroit,” Green told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “I felt a lot more comfortable in Houston. It felt like a real homey environment.”
While Hoops Wire sources said Green didn’t want to end up with the Cavaliers, either, he specifically talked about the Pistons with Haynes. (The Cavs ended up with the No. 3 pick, drafting forward/center Evan Mobley.)
“With Detroit, it felt like I was just going back to the G League bubble, and I just got out of the bubble. That’s pretty much what it was,” Green told Haynes, referring to his time with the G League Ignite. “In the bubble, I didn’t really have anything to do but just stay in the gym. I didn’t have any time to get away for myself.
“The only time I had to get away for myself was in my apartment. That’s what it felt like in Detroit. I wouldn’t be stepping outside in Detroit. There are not many things you can do in Detroit like that. You’re going to stay in the gym and then go back to your apartment.”
It all worked out, of course, as the Pistons went with former Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham at No. 1. Cunningham has offered nothing but high praise for Detroit.
While Green didn’t want the Pistons to take him, he clearly does believe they will regret passing on him.
“I feel like I’m the best player in the class,” Green told Haynes. “I didn’t go No. 1, so I’m going to go get the Rookie of the Year.”