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Houston Rockets: Sam Dekker & Montrezl Harrell Introduced

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sam Dekker (Wisconsin) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number eighteen overall pick to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a very successful NBA 2015 draft the Houston Rockets arguably committed one two of the greatest thefts of the evening with their 16th selection of Sam Dekker and 32nd selection of Montrezl Harrell.

Watching the draft I was amazed neither player were gone each time Houston was up and I imagined the Rockets war room must have been jumping up and down over their luck.

On Friday General Manager Daryl Morey welcomed the newly drafted players to Houston in a press conference.

Morey expects the free flowing system of the Rockets will allow Dekker to showcase his versatility with more frequency and Harrell will be able to utilize his athleticism and versatility. Morey also noted the great fortune the Rockets have had for players with talent, work ethic and playing experience getting passed by so they end up “falling into our lap, it’s not often you get players with such great upside that also have produced in winning environments” (or note both player reached the NCAA Final Four).

Morey commented on how happy the organization was at their luck at getting both players who each have grown through their additional years at College. To that end, Harrell said he felt he needed to grow his game and also as a man prior to entering the NBA. Dekker mirrored those comment saying in his sophomore season, the minute they lost to Kentucky he knew he would return the following year.

Here’s full press conference:

Sam Dekker & Montrezl Harrell Press Conference http://t.co/xBWNSkl9g7 via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) June 27, 2015

Each of the Rockets rookies then sat down with Joel Blank and Craig Ackerman in the Rockets Red Nation Roundtable for really entertaining and informative interviews:

Sam Dekker:

Notably he discussed the shuffle occurring in the first 5 or 6 picks moved a lot of projected players out of the lottery and once he didn’t get selected by teams he expected, he didn’t know where he’d go. Then his brother said “you’re gonna be a Rocket“, he enthusiastically calls it the perfect fit.

When teased about being the second coming of Chandler Parsons he said he welcomes the comparison and notes Parsons is a winner who can shoot and put the ball on the floor which does mirror his game.

Dekker also mentioned he has played with Harrell before at the U18 in Brazil where they won a gold medal.

Red Nation Roundtable 25 – Sam Dekker http://t.co/yE0mJQwLGW via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) June 27, 2015

Montrezl Harrell:

Watching the Harrell interview you can tell he is a driven, focused athlete. When he is told of Rick Pitino’s comments about Harrell being passed by in the lottery (and falling to a much later pick than expected) would serve as motivation for him.

Harrell’s response was “I don’t need motivation, but they’ll be a lot of teams getting hurt next year!” and the intensity he said this with makes you believe he means it.

Red Nation Roundtable 26 – Montrezl Harrell http://t.co/kHpRdlpJYF via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) June 27, 2015

When asked who he looked up to as a player he cited Michael Jordan because he impacted every play. He notes he’s been compared to Ben Wallace and Kenneth Faried which he feels complimented by.

You can tell Harrell will end up being a fan favorite and even an NBA favorite based on his responses. When asked if he watched the NBA Finals this season looking at it differently knowing he was on the precipice of becoming a pro he said he was already making notes on players tendencies!

In my opinion the Rockets lucking out with these two prospects made them one of the main winners of draft night.  Next up, we’ll get to see more of both players in Summer League.

Next: With the 16 Pick the Rockets Select Sam Dekker

Next: With the 32 Pick the Rockets Select Montrezl Harrell

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