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Houston Rockets Draft Prospect Series: Brandon Ingram, Duke

By FanSided Staff
March 24, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Brandon Ingram (14) reacts against Oregon Ducks during the first half of the semifinal game in the West regional of the NCAA Tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
March 24, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Brandon Ingram (14) reacts against Oregon Ducks during the first half of the semifinal game in the West regional of the NCAA Tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Rockets enter the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft without a top draft pick by virtue of making the post season. Unfettered the Rockets still hope to nab a star prospect with the potential to effect immediate results.  Over the next month SCS will look at the draft prospects   with a view to team fit and what moves would need to occur to get that pick. Is Brandon Ingram a prospect worth trading for?

The Real Prize In The 2016 Draft Class Brandon Ingram

Specifics:

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6’9.5″
  • Wingspan: 7’3-7’4
  • Weight: 190-200lbs
  • Position: Small Forward
  • College: Duke University / Freshman

Strengths:

You are looking at a small forward who can play center at 6’9, but can also guard and play all positions on the court because of his size and versatility. Ingram plays on both ends of the court. He’s an elite pick and pop shooter who is a natural born scorer.

Ingram can drive to the rim at will and shoot at an elite level from three. With his 7’3 to 7’4 wingspan (still growing at age 18) makes Ingram an excellent rebounder and a guy who will be able to get his shot up over smaller defenders at the next level.

Ingram has impressive footwork for his size at 6’9. He can spin left or right on drives and can finish at the rim at an top-notch level.

Weakness:

Ingram’s weight is a concern for any NBA General Manager currently tipping the scale at 196lbs. Bigger power forwards like Blake Griffin or Lebron James will abuse him in the post. Ingram’s thighs and chest lack the necessary muscle to keep those type of grown men bodies out of the paint.

Also another risk is a sudden injury because of his weak frame. Ingram struggled at getting to the rim against great defenses in college, which sets off red flags. Gaining weight and muscle will help this kid in the long run to staying healthy.

Ingram’s Stats And Comparisons

Many Rocket fans are awaiting the arrival of Kevin Durant to Houston next year to team up with his old buddy James Harden when Durant becomes a free agent. Truth is Houston acquiring K.D. is a long shot in free agency as Durant diminished any rumors of leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder next season during USA training camp in the off-season before the 2015-16 season. Check out what K.D. had to say:

Kevin Durant dismisses 2016 FA talk. "I'm just trying to go out there and not get cussed out by Russell Westbrook." pic.twitter.com/75XmvP1K6d

— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 11, 2015

Well Rocket fans don’t despair as I believe Brandon Ingram is the next Durant of the NBA. Check out the video comparison of the two and their identical isolation scoring:

Ingram and Durant also have an equivalent pick and roll, pull-up jumper:

Now let’s take a look at Durant versus Ingram in their freshman year via their college stats:

Kevin Durant/University Of Texas:

  • Field Goal Percentage 47.3%
  • 2 Point Field Goal Percentage 50.5%
  • 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 40.4%
  • Points Per Game 25.8
  • Rebounds Per Game 11.1
  • Steals Per Game 1.9
  • Blocks Per Game 1.9

Brandon Ingram/Duke University

  • Field Goal Percentage 44.2%
  • 2 Point Field Goal Percentage 46.4%
  • 3 Point Field Goal Percentage 41% (80 three point field goals made ranking 6th in the ACC)
  • Points Per Game 17.3 (Ranked 6th in the ACC)
  • Rebounds Per Game 6.8 (Finished with 177 defensive rebounds ranking 7th in the ACC)
  • Steals Per Game 1.1
  • Blocks Per Game 1.4 (Ranked 10th in the ACC)

The Rockets need three point shooters to surround Harden. In the 2015-16 season Houston averaged 34.7% from three as a team good enough for 19th overall. Yet the Rockets averaged 30.9 three point attempts per game good enough for 2nd in the NBA. Ingram shot 41% from three in college and just might be a better defender then Trevor Ariza or Durant at this stage of their respected careers. Ingram finished with a defensive rating of 106.4 and the Rockets team as a whole finished with a defensive rating of 108.1.

Can The Rockets Trade Down For Ingram?

The Rockets don’t have a first round pick in this year draft because of the Ty Lawson experiment. I still wonder to this day, “Did the Monstars from Space Jam take his talent away?” If so can somebody give Lawson back his talents?

Houston’s first round pick was protected 1-14, but since the Rockets made the post season it erased the pick. In other words the pick went to the Denver Nuggets.

That said, there is an opportunity for the Rockets to get into the draft if they can work out a trade which works for both Houston and a team who’ll be willing to take Rockets assets in exchange for their top pick.

The Boston Celtics are desperate for a star and a real center and this is where Dwight Howard comes into play. Danny Ainge would give up all of his three first round picks at a shot of picking up a star in free agency or via trade.

So here is the trade I suggest since Ingram will be a top 3 pick this year. Send Howard, Terrence Jones, and two 2nd round picks (Rockets own the 37th and 43rd picks) to Boston.

Curts Trade
Curts Trade

More from Space City Scoop

As Boston sends Houston Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Jonas Jerebko, Jared Sullinger, and the 3rd overall pick in the draft.

Summary

This helps out both teams. Ainge gets his man in the middle to control the paint on defense and rebounding. The Celtics ranked 15th in defensive rebounding last year. Howard is monster on the glass and it gives Boston a shot at coming out of the East. If Ingram can drop to the 3rd pick Houston finds their elite deadly shooting KD next to Harden. Win win situation for both teams. Let us know your thoughts?

Editor’s note: The trade suggested assume Ingram falls to third which may be a reach given many believe he’ll move up not down. That said, anything is possible considering Justise Winslow fell all the way to 10th last year. Kristaps Porzingis came out of nowhere to move up to fourth and D’Angelo Russell rose to second. The initial word out of Philly is they are undecided but with a glut of bigs on the roster it does merit one of Ingram being their target. In addition, the Lakers would jump on Ingram should Simmons go first.  There is still plenty of time for things to change, so let’s keep our eye on the ever evolving shifts leading up to the draft.

Be sure to check out our continuing Draft Prospect Series and our Year End Player Reviews!

Next: Houston Rockets SCS Roundtable Part 1

Next: Houston Rockets SCS Roundtable Part 2

Next: Houston Rockets SCS Roundtable Part 3

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