Houston Rockets: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines

Jay WierengaCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2012

Houston Rockets: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines

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    The Houston Rockets are embarking on an interesting new chapter for their franchise.

    While they aren't necessarily on the cusp of title contention, they suddenly have an abundance of young talent.

    Their Summer League roster as a veritable who's who of college basketball excellence.

    That being said, great college players don't always become great pro ballers, and the cautionary tales of Adam Morrison, Charlie Villanueva and Ed O'Bannon must not soon be forgotten.

    That being said, the Summer League offers fans a chance to see these potential great players showcased in an informal setting.

    This has the makings of a fun group to watch, and here is your guide for what to watch for.

Which Power Forward Will Step Up?

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    Perhaps the most interesting position battle for this Summer League squad is at the four spot.

    Last year's first-round pick, Marcus Morris, showed some potential last year, but only played in 17 games.

    Per 36 minutes, he averaged over 11 points and close to five boards.

    However, for a lottery pick with a lot of good college experience, his first year as a pro could only be summed up as disappointing.

    Add to that the acquisition of the super talented former Kentucky sophomore Terrence Jones, and you have the makings of an all-out scuffle.

    But that's not all. The Rockets also added Royce White, a very underrated big man that handles the ball very well, and Chandler Parsons who started 57 games at small forward but has the frame to play the four, and you have a crowded house.

    Look for Morris to take a step forward and exert some of the toughness that made him a star at Kansas.

    But the real wild card is Jones. If he remains engaged, he could get a leg up on a primary rotation spot on the big club's roster.

Will Donatas Motiejunas Look Comfortable in the NBA?

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    Last year, the Rockets selected Donatas Motiejunas with the 20th overall selection. It was amazing that he fell to the Rockets at No. 20 as he was originally thought to be a sure-thing lottery pick, and perhaps a top eight pick.

    Motiejunas is primarily a finesse player, with a soft lefty shot and tremendous length.

    He likes to face the hoop, and can score from the perimeter as well as the post.

    That being said, he is extremely thin, weighing only about 220 pounds.

    He needs to add strength and bulk, and it will be interesting to see if he gets pushed around.

    If he shows that he can hold his own, he could become an interesting player this year.

Can Jeremy Lamb Make Kevin Martin Expendable?

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    Jeremy Lamb entered this year's draft as arguably the best shooting guard in the class.

    But for all of his strengths, he has to prove that he has the strength to make it in the NBA.

    The first big test for Lamb will be key matchups against Terrence Ross from Toronto and Bradley Beal from Washington.

    If Lamb can show that he can hold his own against those two stellar talents, he might persuade management to offer up Martin to the trade market.

Can Scott Machado Stick with the Club?

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    Perhaps the most interesting undrafted talents to watch is Scott Machado.

    Machado is a very intriguing point guard talent from Iona.

    He can score, but his true calling is passing.

    Machado is quick, but is exceptional at setting up teammates.

    In the fast and furious, sometimes sloppy Summer League, a good true point guard really can make the difference. 

    With Kyle Lowry being dealt, there could be the potential for some minutes at the point guard spot in Houston.

    Machado could be an absolute find for Houston. Look for him to have a breakout Summer League.

Prediction

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    For me, there isn't a more exciting Summer League squad than this one.

    They are stacked at all positions with young, talented players.

    They have a host of great former college ballers, and plenty of underrated and unknown commodities.

    More than anything, these players should be fun to watch.

    That being said, the biggest reason for this truly talented squad that Houston is showcasing has nothing to do with these guys.

    In fact, the Rockets are trying their best to showcase their young talent in order to bolster their trade chips.

    If two or more of these guys really distinguish themselves, they could help sway a major deal for the big club.