Let's discuss 3 players the Rockets could target in the NBA Draft
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 are finalizing a trade to send Robert Covington to Portland for Trevor Ariza and 2020 first-round pick… https://t.co/eah8qCV7KN— Adrian Wojnarowski (@Adrian Wojnarowski) 1605587186.0
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.