The Fansided Network decided to have some fun with the upcoming draft and have our own Mock Draft to see who we would select. In my mind Space City Scoop came out the winner of the Draft, and here’s why.
With the 14th pick, the Houston Rockets select Damian Lillard.
position: Point Guard
Weight: 189 lbs
School: Weber State
This kid is a scoring machine. His motor never stops and he can stop and pop or drive to the lane and make some acrobatic layups. He’s also a very willing passer and great rebounder for his size. Last season for the Wildcats he averaged 24.5 points, 4 asissts, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in 34 minutes a game.
I made the decision to select this player for two reasons. He was projected to go #6 to the Portland Trail Blazers but fail all the way to #14 for the Rockets which is a major steal. Lets face it, Kyle Lowry is going to be traded soon, and after that their will be a glaring hole behind new starter Goran Dragic.
Let this kid learn under Dragic for a couple of years and see if he can take over. You could even play them together at times like Coach Kevin McHale did with Dragic and Lowry. I think he fits in well with what the Rockets want to do. He could come off the bench and be the spark plug for the second team with his instant scoring and getting others involved.
I think this kid has the talent to be an above average point guard in the NBA. If not he will be at least a good role player for a contending team who need a backup point. Either way this kid has a future in this league.
With the 16th pick, the Houston Rockets select Dion Waiters
Position: Shooting Guard
Waiters is a tough kid who thrives on the defensive end. He has some combo guard skills so he could play the point if needed, but i think he is definitely a shooting guard in the NBA. He’s not a great offensive player but he can get the job done driving to the hoop and stopping and popping inside the three-point line. Last season with the Syracuse Orange he averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 24 minutes a game.
I also made the decision to draft this kid for two reasons. Most importantly he was a steal. Waiters was projected to go 7th overall to the Golden State Warriors but fail to 16th for the Rockets, so i didn’t hesitate to select Dion. My other reason to draft Waiters is for his aggressive defense. Kevin Martin will be gone just as soon as Kyle Lowry will, and one thing Martin obviously lacked was defense. Waiters changes that.
I think Dion would fit the Rockets team like a glove. He will backup new starter Courtney Lee and will learn from a true pro how to play the shooting guard position.
Best case scenario for Waiters is he takes Lee’s spot in a couple years after grooming under him. Waiters’ game is a mix of Courtney Lee, Ron Artest and Stephen jackson. Dion needs to work on his outside shooting and rebounding. He’s a small shooting guard so he needs to play big to make up for it. I think he will be an average player in the NBA.
With the 18th pick, the Houston Rockets select Meyers Leonard.
Leonard is a big man with big skills. At 7’1 and only 20 years old there is not much to dislike about the kid. Meyers plays hard and his motor never stops. Last season with the Fighting Illini Leonard averaged 13.6 points on 58% shooting, 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2 blocks in 32 minutes a game.
I selected Leonard for one reason, he brings exactly what the Rockets need, youth and interior defense. He was also projected to go to the Rockets at the 14th pick but after a couple of steals i got another steal with Meyers still being on the board. Marcus Camby is a free agent who will most likely come back, but is 38 years old. Samuel Dalembert looks like he is on his way out which would make room for another center.
Leonard would bring youth, speed, defense, length, shot blocking and strength to the Rockets frontcourt. If the Rockets decide to bring back Camby, Leonard would have a great mentor to learn from as well as Coach Kevin McHale. Who knows, Hakeem Olajuwon could even give him some pointers. Houston struggles at interior defense and Leonard could definitely helped that.
I can see Leonard being a starter in the NBA. He shoot’s a high percentage but he doesn’t have much of an offensive game. Most of his scoring comes from dunks, putbacks and layups. I don’t see him ever being a star or an offensive beast but that’s not what Houston needs. When i think of Leonard he reminds me a lot of Tyson Chandler. Has a lot of length, great at putbacks, shot blocking, huge slams and shuting his man down.
If the Rockets keep their picks i can see them drafting Leonard, but i’m almost positive that Lillard and Waiters wont fall far enough for Houston to get them in the middle of the first-round. To bad this draft didn’t really happen, the Rockets would of had three great rising players in this league. Whoever drafts these guys are in for a treat.