The Houston Rockets feel fortuitous after rookie forward Cam Whitmore, a potential top-five pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, fell all the way to No. 20, where he was swiftly scooped up by Rockets general manager Rafael Stone. In the days following the draft, there have been multiple rumors about exactly why Whitmore was available when the Rockets made their second first-round pick, with much of the focus on his medical history.
Yet, with Whitmore's last major injury being a thumb injury that kept him from making his scheduled debut with Villanova in 2022-23 and the rookie pushing back against those rumors, it's difficult to determine their origins.
Nonetheless, there have also been rumors that Whitmore failed to impress during his workouts and interviews, with Deseret News reporter Sarah Todd also offering that she “personally heard from executives on five different teams who were concerned about what was termed ‘character issues‘ with Whitmore.”
“In each case,” Todd writes, “I was told that Whitmore was still expected to be a very high-level NBA player and there wasn’t anyone I talked to who thought Whitmore was a bad person. There were just some questions about his motivations, his level of care, his attitude.”
Notably, prior to the 2023 NBA Draft, ESPN insider Jonathan Givony would say that Whitmore struggled at times with both his shooting and intensity during pre-draft workouts.
That said, with Whitmore shooting just 34.3 percent from 3-point range last season, his inefficiency as a shooter was unlikely to surprise many draft scouts. His intensity would be expected to be high though given how his game film highlights his competitive nature in all facets of the game.
Still, Whitmore impressed the Rockets enough for them to consider him at No. 4. Which only leads to more questions.