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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Yordan Alvarez's homer in Wednesday's game gave him 100 RBI on the season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Winners of three straight, six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the Astros had the chance to move yet another game closer to clinching their playoff spot if they could secure the series with a win against the Angels on Wednesday. Even though it looked as though they were headed towards a loss in extra innings, they would ultimately come out ahead.

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 9, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 91-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yimi Garcia (4-9)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Selman (0-1)

Garcia goes six shutout innings

Although he didn't have swing-and-miss dominance in this start, Luis Garcia could still capitalize on a struggling Angels offense and post a shutout quality start against them. He allowed three walks and three hits throughout his outing but stranded all of them while getting outs on balls in play. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 79 P.

Alvarez reaches 100 RBI as Houston's offense keeps rolling

That performance had Garcia in line for the win, as two homers handed him a 3-0 advantage which he held. Houston once again used early offense to take a first-inning lead, as a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve turned into a monster 456-foot by Yordan Alvarez, pushing him to 100 RBI on the season. The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when Jason Castro led that frame off with a solo homer to extend the lead to three runs.

Extras in Anaheim

Phil Maton was first out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, but a single, double, and walk loaded the bases with no outs to put him in a jam. A lineout kept the runners put for the first out, but a single and a walk would make it a one-run game and left the bases loaded as Maton would get pulled.

Kendall Graveman entered to try and stop the bleeding, but after a force out at home to put that within reach, Jack Mayfield came through for Los Angeles with a go-ahead three-run double, giving the Angels their first lead of the series at 5-3. In the top of the eighth, a walk by Alex Bregman brought Alvarez back to the plate, and he would nearly miss a game-tying homer and instead got an RBI-single to make it 5-4.

Alvarez would still come in to tie the game, hustling home from second on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to knot things up 5-5. Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he sat down LA in order with two strikeouts. Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to force extras, and despite being shadowed by the winning run on the bases after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to send the game to the tenth.

Astros keep battling and take it in the twelfth

Jake Meyers took second base as Houston's free runner in the top of the tenth, but he would go nowhere as the Astros went down in order, giving the Angels another chance at a walk-off. Instead of giving Shohei Ohtani a free pass immediately, Houston would let Blake Taylor throw two balls to him before giving him the intentional walk.

Taylor then gave up a single to load the bases with no outs, and after getting a force out at home for the first out, Yimi Garcia would replace him. Thanks to a great play by Chas McCormick, giving him multiple in the game, the Astros would live to see another inning as he would make a great catch in right field and then throw out Ohtani at home.

In the top of the eleventh, a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel moved Aledmys Diaz to third, but that's as close as Houston would come, leaving them stuck at five runs. After Garcia retired three more batters in the bottom of the eleventh, the game moved to the twelfth, where Houston would get back in front on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, then padded the new lead on a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve, who would also score on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it 9-5. Josh James came in and wrapped things up in the bottom half as Houston secured the series victory and reduced their magic number to two against Oakland and three against Seattle.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series, and the last time these two teams will meet this year, will be an 8:38 PM Central start on Thursday. The expected pitching matchup is Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) for Los Angeles and Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston.

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