Cam Whitmore looks like a rising young star for the Houston Rockets. We explore three teams who have to be kicking themselves after passing on Whitmore in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Cam Whitmore was one of the more surprising draft fallers back in the 2023 NBA Draft. Many viewed Whitmore as a consensus top-10 pick, but a lottery pick nonetheless. Whitmore fell in the draft due to underwhelming interviews, inconsistent draft workouts, and health concerns.
Many teams had the opportunity to draft Whitmore. However, Whitmore remained on the board until the 20th pick, when the Rockets took him and stopped his draft slide. Funny enough, the Rockets were thought to choose Whitmore when they were on the clock with the 4th pick. He found his way to the Rockets regardless.
Whitmore has been on fire recently. It looks like Rockets head coach Ime Udoka is willing to start giving Cam more minutes to prove himself. With the increased minutes, Whitmore is taking full advantage of the minutes increase and really putting together some highlight reel performances.
In his last four games, specifically, Whitmore is averaging 20 points and seven rebounds on 48 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from 3-point range.
This begs the question, what teams should be kicking themselves by not taking Whitmore while he was available? There is no doubt that he can be a future star in this league, but he's showing that even as a rookie he can have an impact. Let's dive in!
The Utah Jazz drafted Taylor Hendricks over Cam Whitmore
The Utah Jazz are regretting that they didn't draft Cam Whitmore. It would be understandable if they only had one shot to get him on draft night, but they were able to select him twice. Armed with the 9th and 16th overall picks, Whitmore was available to them both times. The Jazz selected Taylor Hendricks and Keyonte George, respectively.
George looks like a promising young guard, but Hendricks, who plays the same position as Whitmore, was a misfire. The Jazz are sort of stuck in the middle. They are somewhere between good enough to make things interesting, but not good enough to contend. A glaring hole resides in their wing department where players like Ochai Agbaji and Simone Fontecchio are asked to soak up most of the minutes.
Imagine Whitmore at the wing position instead. The Jazz instantly become more athletic and have a much higher upside. Whitmore slots in at the small forward position, between Lauri Markkanen at the power forward slot and Collin Sexton at the shooting guard position.
Whitmore has more upside than Hendricks, and he is already the better NBA player. There is no doubt that the Jazz would rather have taken Whitmore, seeing as though he is already producing legitimate on-court results. The Jazz would have a young core of George, Whitmore, and Walker Kessler for the foreseeable future, setting them up for a potential decade of success.
No doubt about it here, the Jazz are kicking themselves for not taking Whitmore.