The Houston Rockets may have tipped their hat on their intentions for the team moving forward particularly when it came to their 43rd pick Zhou Qi.
Zhou Qi is a name Space City Scoop has had on their radar for over 2 seasons now. Last year Trey Oursler looked at Qi offering the following insight:
Zhou Qi is 7’1 center that played for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, the CBA team with the highest payroll this season, and they were sucked out of the playoffs losing two games days before the season ended. Qi is 18-years-old and averages 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks a game against grown men, which he will see in the NBA. He has some interesting abilities on the court including:
- Fantastic passing out of the post
- Although he is only 220lbs (extremely skinny for his height), he can block shots with the best of them
- Solid ball handling
- Offensive game is polished, much like when Donatas Motiejunas came in and improved from working with Rockets’ staff
You can catch the full post here.
This season Coty Davis looked at Qi which offers a nice comparison of this growth in a year. He In his analysis he noted:
When it comes to shooting, Qi already possesses a strong midrange shot that several scouts expect him to extend to the three-point line. But most of his scoring in the CBA came above the rim due to his size. He often finished strong at the rim and has little trouble taking on double teams in the post. When double teams come, he has several options with his ballhandling skills, strong passing ability and quick footwork with strength at the basket.
For the full article and analysis on Zhou Qi click here.
The two article links above offer some compelling analysis and details on the youngster and his potential upside.
Tell us what you think of the pick and make sure you check out our other Draft prospects from the series so you can be fully up to speed on the players teams will be senidng to Summer League.
By the way though it is impossible to predict the draft I did correctly have Zhou Qi being selected by the Rockets. Further I earmarked Denzel Valentine and Juan Hernangomez as two players who would vault up the ladder into the lottery. I was off by one spot as they both made the top 15.
And, I also correctly predicted the flurry of trade activity. It may not have reached the crazy level I foresaw, however let’s wait for the dust to settle as there are sure to be more trades coming once poison pill contract situations are resolved.
NOTE: a poison pill is something the NBA calls a contract that holds a player at a certain value until their new contract kicks in. For example, Terrence Ross of the Raptors signed an extension that doesn’t kick in until July. If you’ve ever played with the ESPN trade machine you know teams have to match-up salaries to equivalent value for the trade to be accepted.. Hence if the Raptors were to trade Ross now he would be valued at approximately $3 million. Whereas a trade occurring when his contract kicks in this July would increase that value to over $10 million. Big difference! (and though I won’t get into too many details on the Raptors one has to wonder by selecting 2 draftees who can both play center if that’s not the plan ie. for Toronto to package one of them (Poeltl?) with Ross to use as barter to go get the starting stretch power forward they desire.)
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