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Houston Rockets Draft Prospect Series: Isaiah Whitehead

Mar 17, 2016; Denver , CO, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) dribbles up court against Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) in the first half of Seton Hall vs Gonzaga in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Denver , CO, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) dribbles up court against Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) in the first half of Seton Hall vs Gonzaga in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd pick. In need of a scorer for the second unit, GM Daryl Morey may want to take a look at Seton Hall Pirates guard, Isaiah Whitehead. One of the most unappreciative talents in this year’s class. 

Draft Prospect:

Specifics

(as per NBA Draft Combine)

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Country: USA
  • Position: Shooting Guard/Point Guard
  • Age: 21
  • Reach: 8’5″
  • Wingspan: 6’8″
  • College or Pro League: Seton Hall Pirates, Sophomore
  • Stat line: 35 Games, 18.2 Points Per Game, 3.6 Rebounds Per Game, 5.1 Assists Per Game, 1.2 Steals Per Game, 34.6 3P%, 36.7 FG%, 76.0 FT%

Current Rank

Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.

Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.

Draft Express: 38

NBA Draft.net: 42

CBS Sports: 50

NBA Draft Room: 51

The Skills

A versatile player who can play both the point and shooting guard position on an NBA level, Isaiah Whitehead is one of the most unappreciatede talents in this year’s draft. While everyone continues to surround Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram with all the hype, Whitehead is one of a few players who finished in the top-10 in almost every category at the NBA combine’s athletic testing.

As an offensive player, there is little to no weakness in his game. His body structure gives him a unique ability to finish through contact. Whitehead has an explosive first step and is capable of getting to the basket on a nightly basis. A flashy athletic guard, who is capable of making highlight plays on any giving night. Isaiah Whitehead can excel in transition both with the ball or filling in the lanes.

Outside of his scoring, Whitehead showed flashes of being a solid play maker. During his second season at Seton Hall, Whitehead played as the primary floor general for his team. Although a high-volume scorer, Whitehead has proven that he can run the pick-and-roll and create scoring opportunities for his teammates.

On the defensive end, Whitehead has developed into one of the best defenders in the country. Every night he plays defense with high intensity, which allows him to force turnovers on the perimeter.

The biggest weakness in his game so far is his jump shot. Driving to the lane for easy buckets will not be as simple in the NBA as the collegiate level. Which means Whitehead will have to improve his shooting if he wants to exceed at the pro level.

Awards and Honors

  • First-team All-Big East (2016)
  • Big East Tournament MVP (2016)
  • Big East All-Rookie team (2015)

The Fit

Not comparing him to Dwyane Wade, but Whitehead’s size and ability to attack the basket are similar to the three-time NBA champion. Once he gets accustomed to playing in the NBA, Isaiah Whitehead would be a nice addition to the Houston Rockets‘ second unit. Particularly a solid backup when James Harden or Patrick Beverley are taking a breather.

Although his offensive skills are the strongest part of his game, Whitehead best option of making an impact in Houston or any other team is improving his jumper. Not saying he will have to develop into a threat from beyond the arc, but Whitehead must expand his mid-range game.

If Morey would like to add a player who can score and defend, then why not take a chance on Isaiah Whitehead.

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect: Denzel Valentine

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect: Pascal Siakam

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect: Isaiah Cousins

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