Will the Houston Rockets' Lottery Position Affect Their Pursuit of Chris Bosh?
The Houston Rockets did not win the draft lottery, an outcome as surprising as traffic gridlock on the city's freeways during rush hour.
The team carried a 98 percent chance of picking 14th to Secaucus. Aaron Brooks' presence could not inspire a miracle.
John Wall and Evan Turner will not play in Houston next year. So, what now?
The Rockets' primary offseason target is clearer than a new pane of glass. The team's followers know. General Manager Daryl Morey could stand to work on his poker face.
Chris Bosh should know what to expect at midnight on July 1—Morey's smiling face at his doorstep with a plea and an offer.
How might a lottery selection, albeit the last one, affect the Rockets' chances to land the coveted forward?
The Toronto Raptors, Bosh's current squad, will pick one slot higher at 13th.
You want a mock draft also, eh? The Rockets could pick Donatas Motiejunas, the lone international prospect projected to go in the lottery. They could also choose North Carolina's Ed Davis, Kansas' Cole Aldrich, Kentucky's Daniel Orton, or Marshall's Hassan Whiteside.
After Wall, Turner, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, and Wesley Johnson, the order of the rest is anyone's guess. All but two of the players in the top 20 of most mock drafts are forwards are centers.
Most think Turner will become a forward, as he bulks up his body and bolsters his confidence on the NBA level.
That leaves Wall as the lone guard in the mix. It means the Rockets will get a big man of some sort if they keep the pick.
Morey could package the player plus the draft picks acquired from the New York Knicks in the Tracy McGrady deal in a sign-and-trade for Bosh.
This, of course, assumes that Bosh wants to come to Houston. The prospects of that dream coming to fruition and the extent Morey should pursue the forward are topics for different articles.
Morey unearthed Brooks with the 26th pick, and all he did this season was shatter the franchise record for three-pointers made in a season (209) while winning most improved honors. Brooks drained the most triples in the NBA by a wide margin.
The GM also found Carl Landry with the 31st pick. The small price for that terrific second-round acquisition: cash considerations.
The Rockets had to surrender Landry to snatch Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings.
The last time the franchise picked in the lottery, the brain trust opted to trade the rights to Rudy Gay for defensive specialist Shane Battier.
Before that, the team snagged Yao Ming.
If Morey re-signs Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, he could just call it a day and hope that a proven starting lineup can stay healthy.
Yao's ability to stay on the court remains iffy, and banking on his return as the catalyst to an extended playoff run might not prove the best course of action.
The Rockets do not want to send any representatives to New Jersey again next year, unless they somehow meet the woeful Nets in the NBA Finals.
Now that would qualify as a surprise.
If Yao does come back, the starting lineup, at present, looks like this: Brooks, Martin, Trevor Ariza or Battier, Scola, and Yao.
The bench would include Chase Budinger, Lowry, Chuck Hayes, Jordan Hill, Jermaine Taylor, Jared Jefferies, and perhaps David Anderson.
Not bad. Also likely not good enough to make the L.A. Lakers quake in their boots.
The addition of Bosh would not guarantee much more, but it would make things more interesting (and not in the last-place Astros sort of way).
The Rockets needed to get lucky. Instead, they landed the pick they expected.
A quick reference guide on the previous five 14th picks—Earl Clark, Anthony Randolph, Al Thornton, Ronnie Brewer, and Rashad McCants—reveals a lot about the kind of athlete Morey can fetch at the end of the lottery.
The players above, save Brewer, still have a chance to become impact performers. Randolph and Thornton continue to flash All-Star potential.
The Rockets can grab up a talented player, but he'll require a lot of work and years of molding by Rick Adelman.
Whether the Raptors would want two players in a row of that ilk remains to be seen.
Productive ballers can also plummet in the draft, as evidenced by impressive rookie turns from second rounders Budinger, Dejuan Blair, and Jonas Jerebko.
The Spurs front office famously stole Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili with the 26th and 58th picks.
Such a player could fall to 14.
The Rockets boasted a .5 percent chance of securing the top selection on Tuesday night. That they failed to win the lottery should come as no surprise.
Anything else, from now until July 1, is fair game.
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