Houston Rockets: 10 Players to Monitor in March for Upcoming NBA Draft
The Rockets are in mini-rebuild mode right now. They brought in some young talent and draft picks, but they still have a core of veterans that can keep them competitive.
In the most recent trades they made they brought in two draft picks, one for this year and one for 2013. So in total two picks for this year. Both will more than likely be teens, one in the lottery and one just out of it.
So positions to address in the draft this year for Houston? Small forward and center.
The starting small forward for Houston at the moment is Chase Budinger. While he's not an awful starter, you could certainly do better.
The starting center is 6'6" Chuck Hayes. One of the best post defenders in the league despite his size, but either way, he just isn't tall enough to prevent the layup drills team have against Houston every night.
So let's move on to 10 guys the Rockets should have their eyes on for the upcoming draft.
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The sophomore out of Texas is averaging 19 points and eight rebounds and is one of the best scorers in the NCAA. He has infinite range from beyond the arc and has drastically improved his shot selection and overall basketball IQ.
His athleticism and skill will translate to the NBA and he will be a offensive threat and would definitely help Houston's problems at the small forward position and help them in the rebuilding process.
We don't really know much about this guy because he hasn't played a single game this season. But as you can see in the video above he is a very talented big man who could immediately help Houston's problems up front.
Standing at 6'10", he isn't exactly a defensive force, but he can develop into one.
The only downside is they would have to trade up to get him as he is likely to go in the top 10. But they definitely have the assets to do so, it all depends on what they think they can get and what they want to get.
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I think we all know what Jimmer Fredette can do on the court, so I'm not going to waste mine and your time typing up a scouting report. He scores the basketball.
I know in the intro slide I said SF and C, but when you have the opportunity to draft a point guard who can develop into one of the better scorers in the league, you jump on it.
Jimmer will more than likely be available with a early-teens pick, and that's what the Rockets are looking at right now if they continue playing like they are right now.
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He's had a breakout year for San Diego State, thus leading to their top-10 ranking.
He can't shoot the three-ball very well, or any jump shot very well, for that matter. But he's a tenacious defender, athletic and an extremely good rebounder. Add in he is good at creating for teammates and a very heady player.
He adds an element of defense to Houston that they had with Shane Battier and he's also only a sophomore and the jump shot is the easiest thing to improve he has a bright future ahead.
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Another point guard who can score with the best of them. He is a great shooter, can finish through traffic and can get to the free throw line at will. He would be a dynamic go to scorer for Houston, something they need as they constantly have cold spells on offense that cost them games.
He has risen UCONN from the grave and is one of the reasons they are relevant at this point in the season. It will be interesting if a decision has to be made between him and Fredette if that option rises up.
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Donatas is 7'0'' out of Lithuania. He would help immediately with Houston's size problem inside. He has a real nice outside shot and can take people off the dribble. He is also a pretty good passer and sees the floor really well for a big man. Also can finish with either hand at the rim.
He doesn't have very much experience so for him to be this good already is extraordinary. He has plenty of room to develop both on offense and defense and would really be the perfect addition to this Rockets team.
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Terrence Jones does have a chance of falling to the late lottery or if Houston so chooses they can trade up and get him. But Terrence is a great scorer at the small forward position and few can stop him.
He is also a very good passer and would be a great fit for Houston. He would offer go to scoring and stop those cold spells they have. He's also only a freshmen so plenty of room for him to improve.
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Barnes is an excellent athlete who can knock down shots from mid range all day on you. He does everything well, defends scores and rebounds decently.
He probably won't fall to Houston's spot, and I don't even think he's worth trading up for, but if he does fall you can expect Houston to pick him up.
He's been really streaky this season and is a risk, as he is only a freshman.
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Mason is really good shot blocker and defender in the post—something Houston is in desperate need of.
Being only 6'10" isn't the exact thing they want because that's not really NBA center size. But he could do as a eventual replacement/backup to Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson.
He would have an immediate impact on the defensive end and would stop teams from having layup drills every game.
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Another really good shot blocker, possibly the best shot blocker in the nation, he has a 7'2" wing span and has an excellent vertical.
If you let him get near the rim it will end up being a dunk and it will end up being on a poster. His scoring most likely won't translate immediately over to the NBA, but it will come with time. But he could immediately replace Chuck Hayes or come off the bench and be a defensive presence.
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Thanks for reading guys, comment below of any guys you think I've missed and who you think Houston should go after.
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