Let's discuss 3 players the Rockets could target in the NBA Draft

The Rockets have the 16th overall pick. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As the draft approaches Wednesday, the Houston Rockets are now on the clock after acquiring a 2020 and 2021 first-round pick from the Portland Trailblazers. Since the Rockets will most likely have Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the roster this season, the draft expectations could change.

The Rockets can go two directions with the 16th pick inside this year's draft, which could be a SG, PF, or center. Stephen Silas, the head coach for the Rockets, has already said that he wanted a traditional big man but the guard play inside of this draft is impressive. So, the Rockets do have a variety of players to select from.

If the Rockets are looking at PF, why not 21-year-old Precious Achiuwa? Achiuwa averaged 16 points per game, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, including 49 percent from the field. He has an impressive wingspan of 7'2 but his height is 6'9. With Achiuwa's outstanding wingspan, he can defend the perimeter and layups at a high rate. Achiuwa's athletic frame can defend guards, run in transition, and create off the dribble 15-20 feet from the basket. And if left open, Achiuwa will take open shots from the perimeter and create around the basket.

Precious Achiuwa Memphis 2019-20 Season Highlights Montage | 15.8 PPG 10.8 RPG 49.3 FG% #NBADraft youtu.be

The Rockets will get more than a traditional big man if they select Achiuwa with the 16th pick. Achiuwa could become a great lob partner for Westbrook and Harden.

Moving on to RJ Hampton, who is an impressive 19-year-old 6'5 SG from the New Zealand Breakers. Hampton chose not to play Division l basketball but decided to go overseas instead. While being overseas, Hampton struggled while only playing 20 minutes and averaging 9 points per game. Hampton only shot 30 percent from the perimeter but was still effective around the basket. Defense became his biggest issue as well because of his wingspan and weight. Hampton struggled to keep up with his defender around screens, which is huge in the NBA.

RJ Hampton New Zealand Breakers Season Highlights | Pt. 1 | 9.5 PPG youtu.be

Hampton's game is a work in progress, meaning a project for Silas if selected for the Rockets. He is very athletic around the rim, a great ball-handler, and a sensational slasher as well. Hampton's game reminds me of John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and Dwyane Wade because of the aggressive approach towards the rim. For Hampton to become successful in the NBA, he must continue to work on his shooting. Mike Miller, who was an excellent 3pt-shooter, was working with Hampton's shot. Hopefully, Silas can prepare Hampton for his NBA venture if selected by the Rockets.

RJ Hampton Shoots LIGHTS OUT With Shooting Coach Mike Miller youtu.be

Next, is the 22-year-old Desmond Bane from TCU, who is similar to Eric Gordon. In Bane's senior year, he averaged 17 points per game and shot 44 percent from the perimeter. Bane is extremely impressive in the pick-in-roll, mobile around screens, and has a large shooting range. He is also very athletic around the rim, and great in transition. Bane's physical frame at 6'6 causes problems when he penetrates towards the basket. He can also become very shifty against his defender without a crossover, meaning his first step is impressive.

Desmond Bane TCU 2019-20 Season Highlights Montage | 16.6 PPG 6.4 RPG 3.9 APG #NBADraft youtu.be

Bane's biggest problem on offense is his ball handling, and he depends too much on his right hand. He could get exposed on offense if his ball handling shows weakness. Hopefully, Bane can work more on his ball handling skills because that is key at the guard position.

The fanbase of the Rockets is extremely anxious about whom they will select. Hopefully, the 16th pick brings promise and hope to the roster.

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Jeremy Pena could have some big shoes to fill. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images.

MLB and the MLBPA are embroiled in yet another labor dispute. The owners and players have both dug in their heels and refuse to budge. No end is in site for the lockout as Spring Training is drawing more and more near each passing day. So what does that mean for our 2022 Astros' season?

One sigh of relief came when Justin Verlander signed his new deal. Two years for $50 million dollars isn't bad at all. Factor in he's closer to my age than my son (coming off Tommy John surgery), and some may worry. Not me. He's the closest thing to Tom Brady MLB has seen since Nolan Ryan. Jim Crane and James Click did a great job bringing him back. His spot as the ace with the rest of the staff they have should help shore up the bullpen if one or two starters can make that transition. I know I said I didn't want him back a few months ago, but time has passed, and wounds have been healed.

When it comes to Carlos Correa, I'm growing more and more comfortable with the thought that he may not be back. I talked about his potential replacement months ago. Maybe the reason being is that the club loves Jeremy Peña at that same position, and Pedro Leon could also factor in. Plus, Peña is tearing the cover off the ball in the winter leagues.

At 24 years old, turning 25 in September, he'll be under team control for the foreseeable future. That truly depends on the new labor agreement. So does Correa's new contract. His contract will be largely based on the parameters set in the new labor agreement, since he didn't sign before the lockout took place. And now we know that contact will be negotiated by Correa's new agent, Scott Boras.

I'm all for the doom and gloom when it comes to an MLB labor issue because they've historically screwed over fans. The most notable and egregious was the '94 World Series being canceled. However, there's way too much money at stake right now. More money than ever to be exact. That said, it's precisely why there's a dispute. That, and the fact that the owners have always gotten over on fans and players, and the players are poised to get their just due.

When the season starts, the Astros should be contenders yet again. Don't look for them to come out the gate firing on all cylinders as this team may look a bit different. Guys may not be fully ready after a lockout and there will be some roster turnover. The bulk of the core will be here, ready, and healthy. Whether Correa is a part of that group remains to be seen. Am I concerned? Hell no! This team has enough to fill that void at least partially and will have either guy under team control for a while. Think about this upcoming season as the time you fixed up your older car. New tires, headlights restored, rims polished, inside made over, and a fresh coat of paint after the transmission rebuild. It still has over 150,000 miles on it, but you wouldn't trade it in for anything because it still runs well and has sentimental value. You know one day it'll give out and need to be put out to pasture, but you're holding on and riding until the wheels fall off. Enjoy Astro fans, because the ride will be over one day. Hopefully much later than sooner.

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