By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Jalen Green has been formalized as the highest drafted player of Filipino heritage in NBA Draft history after he was taken second overall during the draft proceedings at the Barclays Center in New York City on Friday (Philippine Time).
The Houston Rockets took the chance on picking the six-foot-six shooting guard with the number two pick, just behind top overall pick Cade Cunningham, who was drafted by the Detroit Pistons.
Green, a product of the NBTC program as he played for FilAm Sports in 2018 and 2019, quickly turned pro after his high school days, signing up with the NBA G League Ignite program.
He averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.3 block a game during the G League regular season.
During Ignite's quarterfinal loss to Raptors 905, Green had 30 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
Another Ignite alumnus, Jonathan Kuminga, was taken early in the NBA Draft as Golden State took him with the seventh pick.
However, the biggest news of the draft came moments before it began as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Wizards agreed on a trade involving Russell Westbrook.
Pending an official approval on Aug. 6, Westbrook will join the Lakers from the Wizards in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the 22nd pick, which became Isaiah Jackson.