There is one new addition to the Rockets after tonight’s draft.
Somehow, the Rockets managed to keep one of their two second-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. With their pick, they drafted talented young player Isaiah Hartenstein. With the previous pick they owned, they took Dillon Brooks but traded him immediately to the Grizzlies. It will be fun to watch Hartenstein develop in the organization of the Rockets and see him become a potential staple with the franchise. Here is briefly how he will fit with the team:
Isaiah Hartenstein – Germany
Hartenstein will maybe be a draft-and-stashed player for the Rockets. However, it has been said that he wants to play in the NBA this year. Per Jonathan Feigen, he averaged 20.2 for Zalgiris in Lithuania last year and is just 19 years old. He is a 7’1 lefty who has a ton of talent. He could make a difference for the Rockets at some point, whether it be this season or whenever he comes over to the NBA. For now, the Rockets might want to hold him overseas and preserve the cap space.
He has one issue that kept him from being drafted in the first round: back issues. Hopefully, he stays healthy and the Rockets have a steal in the second round of the draft. Time will tell whether Houston wants to take a chance on him this year or in the future. Learn more about the German here:
Also, another interesting note is that Hartenstein is represented by agent BJ Armstrong. He has caused some problems for the Rockets in the past, most recently with Donatas Motiejunas. It will be an interesting situation to follow.
While it would have been nice to keep Dillon Brooks, it was smart for the Rockets to trade him away. The added cap space by not signing him will help the Rockets as they pursue a star to pair with James Harden. Although Brooks might be a great player someday, he is no NBA star just yet. This trade will help as the team looks to become true contenders.