BY: RAMZY KAWAJA
The NBA Draft is right around the corner and Rockets fans’ fingernails have been chewed down to the nub in anticipation. It will no doubt be an important day for the franchise. Every decision made on that day will be magnified under the microscope hovering above GM Daryl Morey. It was obvious that the Rockets had transformed into a jump-shooting squad. This was due to the fact that there was not a legitamate threat to penetrate and finish at the hoop. Defenses quickly sniffed this out and closed hard on the perimeter, daring a drive (which usually resulted in a kick-out).
Luckily, there’s a myriad of shooting-guards up for grabs with the ability to show that perimeter-to-rim iniciative the Rockets are so desperate for. I’ve compiled a list of players who would be more than helpful additions and would fit perfect in the current system.
I’ve excluded the guys who are projected to go in the top 10 and researched the ones who the Rockets have a more realistic shot at drafting. The commentary is courtesy of nbadraft.net. Enjoy.
Dion Waiters (Syracuse) 6’4 Shooting Guard: He’s a scorer at heart, but his ability to create off the dribble results in open looks for teammates, which Waiters is capable of finding as a passer. He is always looking to get out in transition, he can change directions off the bounce, effectively absorb and deflect contact and finish at the rim. Athleticism allows him to penetrate the heart of the defense, where he’s illustrated a soft touch on his floater.
Doron Lamb (Kentucky) 6’4 Shooting Guard: A highly efficient offensive player (50% FG) with an old school style. He shows the ability to put the ball on the deck with either hand, and his aggression level is on the uptick. His shot selection is no longer a concern, as he stays within his role in the offensive structure and doesn’t force opportunities. Extremely active trying to get open off the ball. Lamb utilizes screens effectively and has a quick trigger in catch and shoot situations. His defensive effort is a staple. Doron makes up for his lack of size with tremendous length and moves well laterally
John Jenkins (Vanderbilt) 6’4 Shooting Guard: Probably as good a pure jump shooter as their was in college hoops during his 3 seasons at Vanderbilt. Jenkins has a natural, fundamentally sound jumper that allows him to be nearly equally effective spotting up, coming off screens, and off the dribble. Has a quick release, legit NBA rang, is a constant threat to put the ball in the hoop with his jumper and must be accounted for at all times. John Will be a good scorer/shooting specialist for whoever that drafts him. You must watch out for his head fakes. The most underrated aspect of Jenkins game is his shiftiness, either with or without the ball. Jenkins is able to make a quick move off the bounce, pull-up and hit mid-range shots.
Will Barton (Memphis) 6’6 Shooting Guard/Small Forward: Versatile and creative scorer without a distinct offensive pattern (18 PPG). Lethal in the mid-range shooting off the dribble and has a quick trigger. Has effortless range from downtown, strong wrists and consistency from deep on the incline (35%) from standstill and utilizing screens. High percentage of drives/slashes to the basket result in a floater or short jumper, both of which he is adept at converting. Barton has a soft touch that gives the ball a chance to go in when hitting the rim and gets many friendly rolls.
Terry Wroten (Washington) 6’6 Point Guard/Shooting Guard: Finishes well in traffic, while being able to adjust his shot in the air. His success grew as the season progressed as his finesse layups started to fall. He’s always looking to attack and put pressure on the defense, while remaining a very willing passer. Wroten is an active cutter towards the basket when off the ball. He is an Outstanding offensive rebounder. He reads passing lanes and anticipates very well out of help-side defense.
Evan Fournier (France) 6’6 Shooting Guard: Evan Has a really solid, strong body that helps him attack the rim; he isn’t very explosive, but his first step allows him to beat opponents off the dribble. He’s very crafty offensively. Fournier is a natural talent, and can score in many ways: shooting from three, attacking the basket and spotting up. He’s very adept at driving and dishing. The trademark to his game is his ability to score clutch baskets. He seems to live for crunch time.