Space City Scoop Round Table – Houston Rockets Off Season, Part 1

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

Q2: Draft: What are your thoughts on the Rockets draft picks?

Andre: I was adamant the Rockets were going for a point guard for their first pick on the draft. I believe management went with whom they thought was the best talent available at that time. With Cameron Payne out of the equation Jerian Grant could have been a more attractive possibility. With the number 32 pick I’m just in love with Montrezl Harrell pick. In my opinion, he is probably the best all around player of the second round he’s got a lot of upside and can be polished into an elite player.

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  • Coty: At first, I thought selecting Sam Dekker with the 18 pick was a steal. However, after watching Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell during the Summer League, he may have been the biggest steal of the draft. After averaging 16.5 points, 8.0 Rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game, there is a lot of potential in this young man. Although, he may not see the floor that much this season, playing behind Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones will help establish Harrell into a great NBA big man.

    Eric: On draft night I was expecting Morey to take a point guard with one of his picks, but since he acquired Ty Lawson, I love the picks of Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. I think Harrell can contribute in a Kenneth Faried way, with energy, tenacity, and good rebounding. Meanwhile, I think if given time to develop, Dekker can play a Chandler Parsons type role in a year or two.

    James: I’m a big fan of both Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. I was thoroughly impressed with the way they played in college last year, and fundamentally speaking, I’m pretty sure they’ve got a decent grip on the importance of all the little things like how to move without the ball (something I think you can never get enough of when it’s so easy to fall into the trap of playing spectator basketball).

    Dekker is a prospect I think who could pan out to be worth being drafted in the first round. His ability to finish acrobatic plays and knock down jumpers from the perimeter make him an intriguing rookie to watch. Harrell was projected to get drafted in the first-round, and while he didn’t get drafted until the second round, I don’t think that will phase him one bit. Harrell plays like a workhorse, and has been compared to the “Manimal,” aka, Kenneth Faried.

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  • As I mentioned before, their aptitude for the game exceeds the median among their draft class, and a lot of it has to be credited to their respective college coaches. Bo Ryan and Rick Pitino are considered to be legendary college coaches in the modern day era, and I would consider both coaches to have nothing but high praises about the kind of characters and athletes these two young men are in their books.

    John: Montrezl Harrell was one of my favorite players going into the draft his toughness and ability to rebound will be greatly appreciated. Dekker on the other hand is a different story, I personally wanted Jerian Grantout of Notre Dame to help bolster our back court depth. Hindsight being 20/20 grabbing Lawson took care of that.

    Joshua: Morey has stated countless times that the Rockets philosophy in drafting is to always go after the best player, instead of drafting according to the needs they have at a particular position. That being said, I think Dekker was the best player available at 18, and that Morey made the right decision. As far as Harrell goes, I think he will benefit us since one of our other two power forwards is likely to be traded during the upcoming season (both are potentially free agents next summer). I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him so far. He has a high motor, and can hopefully play similar to Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets.

    NT: I initially thought the Rockets would draft Tyus Jones, because the need for a point guard was so evident during this past season. But as I thought about it, drafting Sam Dekker with the 18th pick and Montrezl Harrell at 32, were very good picks. Dekker appears to fill the void left by the departure of Chandler Parsons. Dekker and Parson’s style of play are very similar; both players have the ability to knock down the outside shot. They can take some pressure off the guards because of their ball-handling skills. Finally, they will attack the basket on occasion, and if the defensive rotation is late, they will throw it down in their face. Dekker’s versatility will get him on the floor with the second unit.

    Whether it’s in a regular season game, summer league or practice, Harrell is a high-energy player that will not back down to anyone and will compete on every possession. He played collegiately under the demanding Louisville Head Coach, Rick Pitino. I don’t expect Harrell to get a lot of playing time, but his tangible value and contribution to the team will be his constant effort and his desire to challenge his teammates. The intangible residuals will be the Rockets becoming a more mentally tough ball club. Harrell will become a fan favorite before long because his efforts will be quickly noticed by the Rockets’ fan base.

    Trey: I believe Morey hit on both draft picks. Dekker will hopefully be able to start sooner than later and Harrell is a dunking machine who needs to mimic the “Manimal,” Kenneth Faried.

    Tamberlyn: In retrospect we didn’t know Morey would land Ty Lawson in the big trade this summer. So, it was somewhat surprising a point guard wasn’t selected with the Rockets first pick at 18, especially with Jerian Grant, Delon Wright and Tyus Jones all still on the board. Still, I personally   hoped Morey would pick Justin Anderson (who the Mavericks selected 3 picks later). Anderson in my opinion has a huge upside, is a 2-way player and in the new world of position-less basketball at 6’6″ can literally play the 2, 3 and 4 in small ball. In terms of Montrezl Harrell, again considering who was on the board coupled with the need to shore up the front court he was a solid pick. Though I’ll maintain I think Pat Connaughton will end up being a solid player in this league.

    Next: Exiting Rockets