NBA Draft 2013: Houston Rockets Draft Grade of Isaiah Cannon

By Michael Ma

Nov 18, 2012; Charleston, SC, USA; Murray State Racers guard Isaiah Canaan (3) reacts after the play during the second half of the Charleston Classic Championship game against the Colorado Buffaloes at TD Arena. Buffaloes won 81-74. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets may have made a steal in Thursday night’s draft, selecting Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan with the 34th overall pick.

It seemed like a confusing pick at first with the Rockets already having Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley on the roster, but Daryl Morey has stated that Canaan will be the 3rd point guard, and most likely begin the season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  Canaan was predicted to be a first-round pick in most mock drafts, so the Rockets got a good-valued pick in the 2nd round once again.

While we're at break, Isaiah Canaan just went to Houston at No. 34. Surprised Canaan dropped that far. Great pickup by Rockets.

— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 28, 2013

Analysis: Canaan shot nearly 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range, while averaging 22.1 points per game in his 4-year career at Murray State. He also averaged 1.6 steals per game. He doesn’t fill a need but, with the Rockets looking to shed payroll to make a run at Dwight Howard, he’s a nice asset at a second-round price.  He will come into training camp competing for the 3rd point guard spot, and can possibly step into the rotation if there was an injury to Lin or Beverley.

Overall, I give the Rockets a B for this selection.  Canaan is somebody who is close to NBA-ready and can step in should there be an injury.  He has also shown that he has the potential to be a good scorer in the NBA despite his size.  The main focus for the Rockets in the draft was to try moving Thomas Robinson and get ready for their free agent pitches, but it looks like they also got a steal with their lone pick.