KJ Martin shares his excitement at Rockets landing No. 2 draft pick

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In a brief conversation with play-by-play broadcaster Craig Ackerman, Rockets forward KJ Martin shared his joyful reaction to Houston landing the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft.

A second-round pick in the 2020 draft, Martin wrapped up a successful rookie season in Houston with averages of 9.3 points (50.9% FG, 36.5% on 3-pointers) and 5.4 rebounds in 23.7 minutes per game. At 20 years old, Martin is only two years removed from graduating high school, which means he has much in common with incoming rookies.

Martin, who happens to be the son of former All-Star Kenyon Martin, taken No. 1 overall in 2000 — knows many members of the 2021 rookie class quite well, since he competed with and against them in school.

In comments to Ackerman, Houston’s 6-foot-6 forward said:

Most of the guys that are in this draft class, I played against in high school. Whether it was AAU, or at camps or whatever, all of us are near the same age. Like, me and Cade (Cunningham) played at a camp together. Me and Jalen Green played at a camp together. Evan Mobley, he went to high school in California, and we played against each other in the playoffs.

Obviously they’ve gotten better, and I’ve gotten better over time. So I feel like all those guys have the opportunity to go out and really showcase their abilities, just like I did.

Martin’s Sierra Canyon squad faced off against Mobley and Rancho Christian on several occasions during their time in high school.

Overall, Martin said he’s excited by the Rockets’ relatively good fortune in the June 22 draft lottery, and it sounds as if he would be happy to play with any of the consensus top-three prospects.

“I think it’s great,” Martin told Ackerman. “It’s an opportunity to get one of the best players out of college. “Obviously you want the No. 1 [pick], but we got No. 2, so it’s right there. I feel like we’ll be good, and we have a chance to get a player that can help us a lot.”

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