Rockets take ASU’s Josh Christopher 24th in 2021 NBA Draft

Jul 29, 2021, 7:42 PM | Updated: 11:31 pm
Arizona State guard Josh Christopher (13) dunks in front of Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin during...
Arizona State guard Josh Christopher (13) dunks in front of Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Former Arizona State Sun Devils guard Josh Christopher was taken No. 24 overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

The draft selection is the first for ASU since small forward Carrick Felix was taken No. 33 overall in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013.

It also marks the first player to be drafted in the Bobby Hurley era.

The 19-year-old Christopher joins guard James Harden as the last two Sun Devils to be selected in the first round after the Oklahoma City Thunder took Harden No. 3 overall in 2009.

Christopher impressed NBA executives during a scrimmage at the NBA Combine earlier in June.

He led the scrimmage with 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two assists in nearly 25 minutes of playing time on the court.

Now, he joins a rebuilding Houston team left in the wake of Harden’s leave at the start of the 2020-21 season. Christopher will have competition at his position, however, as the Rockets drafted shooting guard Jalen Green second overall on Thursday.

Houston’s roster also includes hard-nosed guard Jae’Sean Tate and scorer Kevin Porter Jr. The Rockets also drafted Spanish center Usman Garuba a pick ahead of Christopher, at No. 23 overall.

Christopher only played in 15 games for Sun Devils over a turbulent 2020-21 season.

He averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals over 29.7 minutes per contest.

The 19-year-old also shot 43% from the field, 31% from three-point range and 80% from the charity stripe.

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