DRAFT DAY

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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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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