Future Faces of the Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are the epitome of a high school student, a team under an identity crisis. With Yao Ming hurt and the circumstances of Tracy McGrady, the Rockets are a franchise without a face. Houston has gone through this season without a star player and has become known as the franchise that plays the scrappiest basketball in the NBA. Here is a list of five guys that could develop into superstars and become the face of a proud Rockets franchise.
No. 5: Jordan Hill
Jordan Hill is a brand new name and face for the Houston Rockets. Hill was drafted eighth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks before coming to Houston as part of the Tracy McGrady trade. Hill is a long 6'10" Forward who combined with Yao Ming can make the Rockets an incredibly long team. He is athletic, a solid rebounder, and has the ability to hit a face-up jumper. In his three years at Arizona, Hill showed that he can improve, so look for him to do the same in the NBA. Hill should turn into a key player on what could become an incredibly dangerous Houston team.
No. 4: Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza, at age 24, is one of the up-and-coming young players in the NBA today. Ariza is a defensive ball hawk; he is one of the best in the NBA when it comes to jumping into passing lanes and forcing turnovers. Ariza already has big-game experience in playing a large number of minutes for a Lakers team that won the championship last year. Ariza is an athlete who can attack the basket but has an average jumper that could use some improvement. If Ariza can bring back the way he shot the ball in the Lakers' playoff run then he could become one of few elite defenders who can score too. Ariza is a threat to take over the game at both ends of the court, which could make him the face of this franchise.
No. 3: Yao Ming
Yao Ming has been the face of this Houston franchise for the past seven seasons before a major injury kept him out for this entire year. Many think that Yao, the 7'6" man from China, will continue to be the face of his franchise once he returns from injury next season, but there are doubts about his long-term health. Yao has averaged 19.1 points and 9.3 rebounds a game over his career but hasn't played a full season since his sophomore campaign. If Yao comes back and can stay healthy look for him to average right around a double double with 20 points and 10 boards a game. If health allows, there is no doubt Yao will be the face of the Rockets' future.
No. 2: Aaron Brooks
Aaron Brooks is proving that he is one of the most electric young point guards in the game today. Brooks, in his second year out of Oregon, has done a great job of running the Rockets since Rafer Alston was traded to the Magic. This year Brooks is averaging 19.2 points and five assists per game, but he is doing it on a Rockets team that simply does not have a star scorer. The addition of Kevin Martin should help the Rockets' offense all around, opening up better shots for Brooks and creating more opportunities for assists. Look for Brooks to show up in an All-Star game very soon, and look for him to be the face of the Houston Rockets.
No. 1: Kevin Martin
Martin is brand new to the Houston organization after coming to them as a part of a three-team trade to get rid of Tracy McGrady. Martin is an explosive scorer who can catch fire at any time. He is a great catch-and-shoot player, and at 6'7" he can get off a shot even with a defender contesting it. Because Martin has such a great stroke from outside, defenders are forced to pressure him, and Martin is great at getting them in the air and blowing by them or drawing the contact on his jump shot. Kevin Martin is just the type of explosive scorer you want for the face of your franchise and will become the next face of the Houston Rockets.