Ranking the Houston Rockets' Best Young Prospects

Love PatelContributor IIIOctober 2, 2012

Ranking the Houston Rockets' Best Young Prospects

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    The Houston Rockets have a lot to look forward to after going through a major makeover this offseason that brought them a youthful, talented bunch.

    Along with some developing young talent already on the roster, newcomers and incoming rookies round out the team and could give fans a lot to look forward to for the future.

    The Rockets are entering unfamiliar territory as they've had a roster that was capable of making a run at a playoff spot the last several seasons.

    After a few failed bids and a change in direction, the new-look Rockets have some faces that have a chance to make a name for themselves in the league.

    Here's a look at six of the Rockets' top young prospects.

6. Terrence Jones

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    Jones was selected with one of the three first-round picks in this year's draft Houston initially planned on dealing for another player.

    His performance in the NBA's Summer League seemed promising, but the competition isn't indicative at all of the challenge he'll face in real games.

    The Rockets currently have a plethora of forwards and it may be difficult for him to see a lot of time on the floor, especially early in the season.

    Patrick Patterson has the most experience and may have locked down the starting job for now, but McHale could get creative and move the lineup around to find Jones more playing time.

5. Royce White

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    White was among the most interesting prospects in the draft and one of the biggest stories as well. Most notably for his fear of flying.

    His skill set is also what makes him so unique. White's exceptional play-making ability couples well with his size.

    Passing is one of his strengths and he can make good plays in transition. His size at power forward may seem like a burden at first, but his unique set of skills allows the coaching staff more flexibility with him throughout the lineup.

    White won't have any trouble meshing with his teammates on the court. His game is geared towards that.

4. Donatas Motiejunas

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    Motiejunas, one of last year's draft picks, will join the Rockets this season after spending a year overseas.

    His size suggests he'll play at center, but his quickness and ball skills would serve well at forward.

    However, the only way Motiejunas will get playing time is if he backs up Omer Asik at center. He may not currently have the strength to defend against good centers in the league, but he'll gain muscle after spending some time in the NBA.

    Motiejunas runs the floor exceptionally well for his size and can be a major asset in transition.

    The Rockets will have to play fast and get easy buckets if they want to stay competitive this season, and Motiejunas can help with that.

3. Jeremy Lamb

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    Lamb was the Rockets' first of three selections in this year's draft and he may end up being the best.

    His size and length are encouraging, especially at the 2 spot. Lamb's ability to score is unquestioned and it's only a matter of time before he becomes productive enough to be a starter in the league.

    While he needs work defensively, his physical attributes could serve him well as he works to become a better defender.

    Lamb's development will be interesting as he may begin the season on the bench behind Kevin Martin in a rotation. However, with Martin's future on the team in question, Lamb could have a big opportunity later in the season to develop into a starter.

2. Chandler Parsons

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    Parsons survived the Rockets' major turnover this offseason, though his status with the team was never in question to begin with.

    Parsons was among the positives last season and has given Houston fans a lot to look forward to.

    Last season, Parsons gained a lot of favor and worked his way into the rotation throughout the season.

    He has the ability to develop into a top-defender in the league and his hustle on the offensive boards has supplemented the Rockets offense.

    His jump shot is gradually getting better, and if he can become a solid option on offense, he'll cement himself as a cornerstone of the franchise.

1. Jeremy Lin

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    After everything that has taken place, Lin is easily the face of this franchise.

    He'll get the opportunity to prove that the small stretch he had in New York, called "Linsanity," wasn't a fluke, and that he's capable of being a starter and leader in this league.

    There isn't much question whether he'll produce on the offensive end. Many will be watching how he performs in a leadership position, one he tentatively assumed in New York when their other stars were out of the lineup.

    Lin seems like the ultimate teammate and it seems he'll remain focused on helping everyone get better as a team.