Analyzing Houston Rockets 43rd pick of 2016 NBA Draft: Chinese center Zhou Qi

Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a video board displaying all thirty draft picks in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a video board displaying all thirty draft picks in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

With their 43rd pick in the NBA Draft the Houston Rockets selected the larger than life 7’2” Chinese Center Zhou Qi.

In their final pick in the 2016 Draft the Rockets went for some nostalgia and market value picking up center Zhou Qi from Xinjiang.

Houston who’ve already built a huge fanbase in China is hoping to once again take advantage from the very profitable relationship the team’s had with the Asian country now with Qi coming off the same tracks as legendary center Yao Ming and internet and media sensation Jeremy Lin.


  • Height: 7’2″
  • Weight: 218 lbs
  • Country: China
  • Position: Power Forward/Center
  • Age: 20
  • Standing Reach: 9’4.5″
  • Wingspan: 7’7.75″
  • College or Pro League: Chinese Basketball Association
  • Stat line: 42 Games, 15.8 Points Per Game, 9.8 Rebounds Per Game, 3.2 Blocks Per Game, 1.1 Steals Per Game, 60 FG%, 60 3P% (9-15), 76 FT%

Draft and Stash

The 7’2” Chinese center though will only show off his abilities in the NBA starting next year as Zhou and his former team the Xinjiang Flying Tigers reached a buyout deal for Zhou Qi to join the NBA only in 2017.

Details of Zhou Qi’s buyout agreement with his Chinese team. @DraftExpress on @TheVertical.

— The Vertical (@TheVertical) June 24, 2016

In the meantime you can watch Houston Rockets future player displaying his talent and skills in the Rio Olympic Games as the 7 footer is set to compete with the Chinese National Basketball team this summer.

The Fit

The rule of the day with Zhou Qi is: don’t expect him to be Yao Ming’s second coming, Red Nation. The massively tall center still needs to develop a lot before even be considered as a possibility in the NBA.

Not taking anything away from a  player that averaged 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and a other worldly FG% but Zhou Qi still needs to add a lot of bulk to his frame, grow up as a player, focus on his nutrition before thinking of getting to the league.

More from Space City Scoop

Nevertheless Zhou Qi does possess some intriguing skills. He has a soft touch near the rim, a great mid-range game, excellent hands and is incredibly mobile for his size.

If he can expand his range even further to the 3P line then that’s when things start to get interesting for the this prospect.

When Zhou finally makes his transition to the Houston Rockets expect him to be shoved out of the paint by much stronger opponents and unless he strengthens his core and works on his toughness he won’t have much of a  future in the league.

That said, if he does work on the physical problems of his lengthy body he has potential to become one great player in the future that could even play some time as a power forward and differently from Rockets other Draft Pick Chinanu Onuaku, Zhou Qi would fit beautifully playing alongside  Clint Capela.

Together Capela and Zhou might become a dangerous duo presenting problems in and out of the paint.

There’s still a long road ahead for Zhou. The Olympics will prove to be a stern but incredibly valuable test. It remains to be seen how the young Asian will fare playing the international competition with tougher and stronger opponents.

For a more thorough profile, please check the excellent article written by SCS Daniel Zepeda:

Next: Draft Prospect: Zhou Qi

Also check out the initial news of the draft pick and the Editor’s Mock Draft:

Next: SCS Editor 2016 NBA MockDraft?

Next: With the 43rd pick the Rockets select Zhou Qi

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