- Created on Friday, 29 June 2012 00:22
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
The Houston Rockets did not want to have three first round picks in the NBA Draft Thursday night. They were hoping to use them and/or some combination of players to make a blockbuster type deal for either Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol. While it likely wasn’t due to a lack of effort, the trades didn’t happen prior to the draft.
They had no choice, but to use all three first round picks. Darn.
Just because the draft is done does not mean the dreams of trading for either of the aforementioned stars is. As nice as having a superstar on the roster may be, the team will not do half bad with the three players they just drafted being added to the roster.
Take Jeremy Lamb for instance. The 6-foot 5-inch, 180 pound guard from Connecticut helped pave the way to a national title in 2011 with the help of Kemba Walker. Although the Huskies were not able to duplicate their run, Lamb played well averaging close to 18 points a game.
“We thought that he got lots of experience from his freshman year with the championship and now learning the hard way, not having such a successful year this year we thought that his development was very good. A very talented shooting guard who can score, very athletic,” said Arturas Karnisovas, the Rockets Scouting Director.
Should the team end up trading Kyle Lowry and/or Kevin Martin, Lamb could end up being an important piece to the team’s success next season.
Royce White, the 6-foot 8-inch, 270 pound power forward from Iowa State and the 16th pick for Houston, could prove to be a real steal as a mid-round pick. His talent is without question; the problem has been some off-field issues like an anxiety disorder and a shoplifting charge that caused him to transfer from Minnesota to Iowa State.
“An elite passer, very explosive to the basket, Royce White was a playmaker for his team. He was rebounding, he was scoring, he was passing. We thought that it’s a great value…His game speaks for itself…” said Karnisovas.
Terrence Jones could very well end up being a steal as well at No 18. The 6-foot 9-inch, 252 pound forward from Kentucky has the size and athleticism to make it at the NBA level. He can score, rebound, block shots—a little bit of everything. Head coach Kevin McHale and the rest of the Rockets will likely not mind if he does the same for Houston.
The question that still remains to be answered is whether any of these guys will suit up for Houston or if they end up being the price the Rockets pay to rent Dwight Howard for one season.