He may not be Yao Ming, but the future for Houston Rockets’ Zhou Qi seems bright.
Winning the draft lottery does not guarantee that a team will come away drafting the best player of the class. Throughout the course of NBA history, there have been many great players who received the short end of the stick on draft night.
Over the past few years, the Houston Rockets have managed to find several diamonds in the rough in the second round. Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Canaan, Nick Johnson, and most recently Montrezl Harrell. All exceeded their draft night expectations to become a vital member of the Rockets rotation at one time or another.
Every year there is one sleeper in the draft who will define all odds and become something no one could ever imagine. Although no one knew his name when the Rockets selected him with the 43rd pick. Zhou Qi made a name for himself as Team China fell to Team USA 107-57, Tuesday night in Oracle Arean.
25:18 Minutes,13 Points, 2 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 55.6% Field Goal Percent.
Despite losing by 50 points to Team USA, Zhou Qi proved that he has what it takes to play at the NBA level. Against Demarcus Cousins, and Deandre Jordan Qi did a solid job holding his ground against two of the NBA’s top big men despite giving up significant size.
Of course in a regular season game, the chances of Qi playing over 25 minutes are little to none, but there is something he could bring to the Rockets when on the floor. During China’s exhibition game, he showcased his smooth offensive abilities that made him a FIBA Asia Champion last year.
Qi has a solid post game, but it is his ability to shoot that makes him an offensive threat. With his mid-range game, Qi provided China with a consistent scorer throughout the night. However, what was most surprising about Qi’s performance was his ability to handle the ball.
Outside of Kevin Durant, there are not too many 7-foot players who can handle the ball better than most guards. Not saying he is on the same level as Allen Iverson, but at 7’2 Qi is a great ball handler.
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Against Team USA he showcased his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket anytime he wanted. His ball handling skills were so good, at times DeAndre Jordan looked lost when guarding him.
Of course like most players from overseas the lack of physicality made Qi a defensive liability when on defense. Against Durant, Cousins, and Carmelo Anthony, he looked more helpless than a newborn baby fresh out the womb. Yet at the end of the day, anyone would look helpless when trying to stop these players from scoring.
Overall, Qi had a great game and if signed would be a great addition to this year’s Rockets team. He will not be the second coming of Yao Ming, but Qi has a bright future in store.
What’s likely is the Rockets will allow him to remain with his current team in China and develop his skill set, add muscle and prepare for a future appearance in Houston.
SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely consider checking out my Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams:
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