Hartenstein was Houston's first selection on draft night, and joins a team that won 55 games last season and has playoff expectations heading into 2017-18.
Here's what social media thought of the Rockets' newest addition:
Although he was born in Eugene, Oregon, Hartenstein's formative basketball education occurred overseas. His first professional experience came with Artland Dragons in Germany before he moved to Lithuanian team Zalgiris Kaunas.
According to RealGM, Hartenstein averaged 4.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 29 Lithuanian league games. He also appeared in five Euroleague games, posting 1.0 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.2 assists a night.
While his domestic club production doesn't jump off the page, the 2016 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship was a great showcase for the 18-year-old. Representing Germany, he averaged 14.7 points and 9.5 rebounds in six games and made seven of his 21 three-point attempts.
Hartenstein saved his best for the third-place game against Italy. Although Germany lost, he scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
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Between his youth and lack of experience—he started just six games for Zalgiris in 2016-17—Hartenstein is unlikely to be an immediate hit in the NBA. Dragan Bender had a similar track record overseas and only played 13.3 minutes a night as a rookie with the Phoenix Suns.
"An obvious talent who's been on the radar for years, Hartenstein stands out with 7'0" size, mobility and face-up ball skills, including a jumper that's shown three-point range," Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman wrote of Hartenstein in February. "His performance at the U18s just helped confirm he's worth looking into with a first-round pick. From there, Hartenstein should be considered a strong candidate to rise further during workouts."
The Rockets are looking years ahead with the selection of Hartenstein. As a rookie, he'll be able to give them solid rebounding and defense in limited minutes.
Should he reach his full potential, Hartenstein will be the kind of frontcourt player who does a lot of things very well without excelling in any one area. Beyond his rebounding and post defense, he has the skills necessary to score in a variety of ways and facilitate his team's offense with his passing.
Going with Hartenstein is a worthwhile gamble at this point in the second round as they look to get over the playoff hump in the Western Conference.