NBA Draft 2012: Houston Rockets' Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

Trevor Lowry@@TheTrevorLowryContributor IMay 7, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: Houston Rockets' Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

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    The Houston Rockets seemed like they would be a playoff team just about the entire season, but looks were very deceiving in this case because they just barely missed them. If the Rockets plan on making the playoffs next year, they need to take advantage of the 2012 NBA draft, but there could be good and bad scenarios for them in the draft.

    It is obvious that Houston needs to improve if they want to compete in the NBA. However, they could stay bad forever. Draft season is always a great time to improve.

    With that said, read on to find out the best- and worst-case 2012 NBA draft scenarios for the Rockets. 

Best Case: Draft a Good Center

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    The Houston Rockets had a big hole to fill when Yao Ming retired. That hole hasn't quite been filled yet, and the Rockets could definitely help close that gap in the draft by drafting Tyler Zeller.

    Zeller can not only play defense and rebound, but he can also score the basketball at a pretty high rate. He has great post moves to say the least and can also knock down shots outside of the usual big man range.

Worst Case: Tyler Zeller Is Not Available

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    If Tyler Zeller is not available when it is the Rockets' time to make a selection, they obviously will not be able to draft him. That's rocket science right there.

    After Zeller, the most likely center that Houston would pick is Meyers Leonard. 

    Although this would still be a great addition to the Rockets, thanks to Leonard's great defensive game, it would not be as good of a pick as Zeller. 

    Leonard is not quite the scorer that Zeller is for the obvious reasons that he can't knock down the 18-foot shot and his post moves aren't as good.

    So, if Zeller is off the board, Houston will most likely have to settle with Leonard. 

Best Case: Rockets Draft a Good Power Forward

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    As it stands, the Rockets have the 14th and 16th overall picks in the draft. With such close picks, Houston can draft a player like Jared Sullinger before drafting a center. 

    Sullinger plays the game of basketball in a very physical manner, which helps him play larger than his 6'9'' height would suggest. Sullinger is a great scorer to say the least, and he can also rebound the ball like an absolute beast.

    If Houston wants to live life on the wild side, they can draft a power forward before they draft a center, hoping someone like Meyers Leonard will still be on the board, with the 16th overall pick.  

Worst Case: Houston Drafts a Power Forward First, Doesn't Get a Quality Center

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    The Rockets can be a little risky by drafting a power forward with the 14th overall pick, but then they would take the chance of Tyler Zeller or Meyers Leonard being off the board. If this does happen, Houston fans are going to be oh-so-very-happy...not.

    Houston needs a good center. That should be its first priority in the draft, but who knows. The Rockets may want to draft a different position first, since only one pick separates their first pick from their second one.

    Plus, there is always that possibility that a player, like Jared Sullinger, will be a bust, but that is the case for any player and that is just negative thinking.

    The Rockets cannot afford to settle for a center like Fab Melo. They need production not only on defense, but offense as well. It's not like Melo is a bad player, so don't freak out or anything. It is just the fact that Houston needs more out of its center than Melo can offer.  

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