Rockets News

Houston Rockets Player Rankings: ESPN Ranks Courtney Fortson #471

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Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player — and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on ESPN.com. ESPN asked 104 experts to rate each player on a 0-10 scale.

The ESPN 2012 NBA Player Rankings are getting closer to the end. We now know that Kevin Martin was ranked as the best Houston Rockets player at #76. Jeremy Lin was just two spots behind at #78. Now were at the end of the list. These guys are not guaranteed spots on the roster, especially since Houston has about 20 players on their roster as of now.

Courtney Fortson is a guy who is closer to being cut than being assured a roster spot. He was outplayed in the NBA Summer League by Scott Machado. The Rockets gave Machado a contract and still have point guards Shaun Livingston and Toney Douglas who are all battling to backup Lin. I’m not even sure if Fortson deserves a spot on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers after his no-show in the Summer League.

In four games in the NBA Summer League, Fortson started three of them, averaging just 4.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 14 minutes a game. I was looking for Fortson to show off his speed by getting steals and easy baskets by blowing passed his defender. He didn’t show anything special at all. His defense was atrocious, his shot is mediocre at best and he looks like an amateur when trying to drive to the basket and finish. He looked too comfortable, as if he had a spot on the roster locked down. At the end of the Summer League he lost his starting spot to Machado, who outplayed him by a long shot.

Courtney has only appeared in 10 NBA games in his career, six with the Rockets and four with the Los Angeles Clippers. He came off the bench in all 10 games, averaging just 3.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1 assist in 9 minutes a game. He shot just 34% from the field and a horrible 23% from downtown.

When the Rockets got this kid I was really cheering for him. I thought his style of play would benefit the Rockets, going from a guy like Dragic who is a finesse player, to going to a guy like Fortson, who uses his speed. That didn’t happen and the Rockets had to go out and sign veteran point guard Earl Boykins after Kyle Lowry went down.

Fortson has lost his job with the Rockets in the NBA and in the Summer League. I think he loses his job as a Houston Rocket for good before the season starts.

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