Another year down and the Rockets are in yet another lottery. A foreign concept to Houston fans in the 90’s has become all too familiar in the last couple of years. Houston will send Kyle Lowry to New Jersey for the 2011 NBA Lottery this evening on ESPN, continuing the trend of sending a PG to represent the organization.
The Rockets have a .5% chance of landing the No. 1 pick and a 1.8% chance of moving into the Top Three. The exact percentages it will take for the Astros to be competitive in the next 10 years. Even though it is a small chance the Rockets will be picking anywhere outside of 14…moving up has happened before.
The Magic won the rights to Chris Webber in 1993 with just a 1.5% chance (sporting the best non-playoff record as the Rockets do now). Even more recently, the Bulls won the rights to MVP Derrick Rose with just a 1.7% chance. Houston will be looking for a NASA size miracle to land inside the Top Three but if they are able to…who will the Rockets be eyeing in this year’s draft?
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It doesn’t take a Rocket scientist to figure out where this team needs help. Whether through free agency or through the draft, the Rockets will have to address the Center position. As much as I love the Chuckwagon, starting a 6’6’’ Center will only get you so far. The Rockets also need to address a defensive presence at the Small Forward position after losing Shane Battier. Who is out there? I think Florida State’s Chris Singleton is a great prospect who could definitely fall to Houston at 14.
Singleton is not a great offensive player but can guard anyone at the next level. He has great defensive tools which is what the Rockets need more than offense. Texas’ Jordan Hamilton has size, can shoot the ball, but the real question is how quickly he can pick up the NBA pace. He struggled transitioning from the high school to the collegiate level his freshman year but seemed a lot more comfortable in Rick Barnes’ system last year. Colorado’s sophomore guard Alec Burks has great size at 6’6’’, a lot of speed, can get up the floor, and when he wants to can be a lock-down defender. Because of his ability to run I thought he would be a great fit in the Adelman system but with a new regime the organization might go in a different direction.