THE PALLILOG

Will Fuller signs with possible Texans trade partner, and surprising Rockets odds

Will Fuller is heading to Miami. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

The sexual deviant allegations against Deshaun Watson are disturbing and depressing. Either Watson is a pathetic degenerate who belongs in jail (at this point not an option with these being civil suits) or Watson is the rightfully irate victim of a disgusting smear attempt with the smearers deserving time behind bars. The only possible middle ground is an implausible series of horrible misunderstandings.

This jaw dropping addition to the Deshaun Watson/Texans mess first surfaced mere hours after the Texans struck a deal with Tyrod Taylor to become their starting or backup quarterback. Taylor is a vast upgrade over A.J. McCarron as a number two, but if Taylor is the starting QB, the whole Texans' season looks that much more like number two.

Taylor was one of the more than a dozen entirely unexciting roster additions new general Manager Nick Caserio made this week. No high impact signees and definitely not a promising collection of younger guys. More than half the new Texans will be at least 29 years old when the season starts.

In the short term, Watson's situation likely has some chilling effect with respect to trade interest in him at what cost. The Texans' posture remains they have no interest in a trade. Nevertheless, interesting that logical potential trade partner Miami is signing Will Fuller to bolster the Dolphins' receiving corps.

Rockets favored?

It can't get much worse than the Rockets vs. the Pistons Friday night at Toyota Center. Despite their brand spanking new franchise record 18 game losing streak the Rockets are actually small favorites. Overall at 11-28, the Rockets sit just one half game behind the Pistons for the second worst record in the NBA. Opportunity knocks! A Rocket loss would strengthen their chances of finishing with a bottom three NBA record, which is where they must fall to have their maximum chance of 52.1 percent to keep their draft choice if it winds up in the top four of the draft lottery.

The Rockets got a minimal and reasonable return in trading P.J. Tucker to Milwaukee. They project to move up eight picks or so in the draft from near the top of the second to somewhere in the bottom seven or eight picks in the first round. New General Manager Rafael Stone basically has to move Victor Oladipo by Thursday's trade deadline. The Knicks seem the most logical trade partner. Newly acquired D.J. Augustin makes no sense for the Rockets' roster next season for which he's guaranteed seven million dollars. Stone has to be looking to move him as well. If the Rockets could literally give away Eric Gordon they would. There would be no takers.

After having only three losing seasons in the last 36, it is very possible the Rockets stink for several years. Christian Wood looks good when healthy, Kevin Porter Jr. flashes some nice skills. That's it for guys who reasonably project as average or better NBA starters going forward.

March Madness

By their two seeding in the Midwest Region, anything short of the Elite Eight would be a disappointment for the Houston Cougars. I'm sure their players would agree, if anything they might say anything short of the Final Four would be disappointing. The odds are against them getting that far. Cleveland State should pose no problem in round one, after that any team the Coogs play will be capable of beating them. The Clemson/Rutgers winner is no gimme on Sunday. UH clearly played the weakest schedule of any of the top 16 seeds in the tournament. Had the Cougars been in the Big 12 or Big 10 there is no chance their record would be 24-3. They are a two seed however because they are damn good. Sensational is understating the job Kelvin Sampson has done with the program. With the whole NCAA Tournament being held in Indiana using six venues and the UH-Cleveland State game set at Indiana University's Assembly Hall, Sampson returns to the campus where he was fired for NCAA rules violations and then functionally banned from college coaching for five years.

Baseball is coming

Inside two weeks to the Astros' season opener at Oakland. No position battles. Hardly any roster spots are up for grabs. Zack Greinke is tabbed as the Astros' game one starter. Greinke has previous Opening Day starts with the Royals and Diamondbacks. Only two pitchers have made Opening Day starts for five different franchises. Name 'em? One best known for his curveball, the other for his spitball. Answer below in Buzzer Beater #3.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Sure Michigan likely routs Texas Southern Saturday, but the way the Tigers won the SWAC Tournament to reach the First Four, then their rallying from 10 down at the half to beat fellow 16 seed Mt. St. Mary's…good stuff.

2. In five of the last seven tournaments a 14 seed has stunned a three seed. Beware Texas Longhorns vs. Abilene Christian.

3. Bert Blyleven and Gaylord Perry. Three other pitchers most defined by one pitch in their repertoire: Bronze- Trevor Hoffman change-up Silver- Bruce Sutter split fingered fastball Gold-Mariano Rivera cutter.

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The Rockets selected Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.

The city of Houston can finally rejoice as Jalen Green was selected as the number two pick by the Rockets at the 2021 NBA Draft. It was already suspected that the Rockets would draft Green from past reports. Shams Charania of The Athletic already reported that the Rockets narrowed their decision down to Green.

Green is an explosive shooting guard that can get in-and-out amongst the perimeter and paint. With the G-League Ignite, he averaged 17.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is an excellent free throw shooter at 82.9 percent. Like James Harden, he is incredibly good at getting to the free throw line. Green has a good trigger from three by shooting 36.5 percent on 5.7 attempts a game. His mature status since high school has prepared him for the NBA.

"His down-hill playmaking is really hard to guard", as Joey Fucca, his ex-coach told TDS. "If he says he's going to get to the rim, good luck. He is very good at getting to the free throw line, he is also very explosive to finish above the rim. When his three ball is on, you're just going to have a long night. I wouldn't be excited to guard him."

Green has blistering speed with outstanding handles to blow by his defenders and score. Spectators have compared Green to a younger Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine, which are superstar players. He is a particularly good midrange shooter underneath the perimeter, as he shot 35 percent on a small quantity of attempts in a shorter season.

"Jalen is a uniquely blessed guy. He's a transcendent athlete," as Rockets GM Rafael Stone said. "He can handle the ball, and he can shoot. Normally, people that athletic aren't as skilled. We think that combination of tools makes him an extraordinarily exciting prospect."

During his press conference on Thursday night, Green emphasized the achievements he wants to accomplish with the Rockets. Green even discussed his desire of being a better defender, as he wants to continue to get better. He has a great wingspan and lateral movement to stay with opposing players on defense and be disruptive in the passing lanes.

"They're going to say it's a great choice," Green said. "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract. We're doing it big."

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. I think I'm going to bring that dominant mentality, that defensive mindset…They already got a lot of star players"

As the draft continued, the Rockets sent future draft picks from the Wizards to land the 16th pick in the draft, which was 6'10 Alperen Sengun from Turkey. The 16th pick did belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder until Rafael Stone executed an interesting deal with Sam Presti.

"We did not think he would fall to us at 23, so we were really aggressive to try and move up all throughout the first round to acquire him," as Stone said.

Sengun's abilities on the court revolve around his post ups and skillful passing. He even maintains good feet along the baseline. In his press conference, he mentioned his passing skills can become better. There are clips of him looking impressive on shovel passes, passing the ball behind his back, and finding the cutting man towards the basket. Sengun looked good in double teams by showing he can still find the open man with his back turned.

While playing in the Turkish Super League, Sengun was an MVP at 18-years-old, averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He could be another huge figure next to Christian Wood on the court, and a safety blanket for the Rockets if they cannot bring back Kelly Olynyk.

Usman Garbua is similar to former Rocket Luc Mbah a Moute. He is 6'8 with a tremendous wingspan at 7'3 and can guard anyone on the court, which is 1-5. Garbua was seen guarding Kevin Durant in the Team USA vs. Spain matchup and had interesting battles. The Rockets will get a ton of energy out of the 19-year-old player. He knows how to run the floor in transition, so he can finish around the rim. As I see it, he could be on a defensive first team in the future as he matures more. Garbua will become a defensive nightmare against opposing players.

"I think he's the best defender in the world outside of the NBA, and he's just 19 years old," Stone said. "I think he potentially could be really, really impactful on that side of the ball."

As the Rockets made their last selection, they selected Green's AAU buddy, Josh Christopher from Arizona State. He impressed a ton of scouts during his draft workouts and scrimmage against other prospects. Christopher had a double-double during his third scrimmage, which was 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is a very shifty guard with a ferocious step back.

While playing with the Sun Devils, he averaged 14.3 points per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Just like Green, he loved the midrange opportunities, as he shot 49.6 percent underneath the perimeter. He is another shifty big body the Rockets will have in their back court at 6'5. Christopher is very good at rebounding and playing defense. Stone loves watching him in defensive one-on-one situations. Christopher has Sixth Man of the Year written all over him because of his stocky body type and upside.

Hopefully, the Rockets have an exciting summer league and training camp along with their season.

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