Houston Rockets: Two players to watch in the Summer League
The Houston Rockets will open their 2018 NBA Summer League tomorrow. Here are two players to keep an eye out on.
The NBA is still four months away from opening night, but preparation for the 2018-19 season starts this weekend. The Houston Rockets are set to open their 2018 NBA Summer League against the Indiana Pacers Friday afternoon in the Thomas and Mack Center in Los Vagus.
While trying to capture the Summer League Championship, Houston’s roster will consist of several familiar faces that include: Chinanu Onuaku, Rob Gray, and Zhou Qi. They will be the main focus in the summer, but here are two others to look at:
In a draft that featured Michael Porter Jr and Mikal Bridges as the top small forwards coming into the league, the Utah Jazz helped the Rockets get one of the most underrated players in Vincent Edwards.
After spending four years at Purdue, Edwards earned a Second-Team Big-10 selection last season. He averaged 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 47.6 percent as a senior. Edward’s ability to shoot from behind the arc has also gone underrated as he shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range.
Standing 6’8 and a wingspan of 7-feet, Edwards is a versatile forward who can do almost anything on the court. However, his most polish basketball skill is on the defensive side of the ball.
He can guard multiple positions and according to his draft profile on NBA.com, Edward doesn’t miss a lot of rotations, helps actively, and seldom misses a chance to get a hand up in the eyeliner of opposing shooters.
Of the players who received an invite to the Rockets summer league, Edward may have the best chance of making the team next season. After losing Trevor Ariza this summer to the Phoenix Suns in free agency, Edward has a great chance to help fill the void that was left behind.
Despite being a three-star recruit coming out of Crespi Carmelite High School in California, De’Anthony Melton never got the opportunity to showcase this talent for the USC Trojans.
Despite having a solid freshman season averaging 8.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds with 25 starts, Melton’s college career came to a heartbreaking end due to the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball.
The Rockets still saw fit to select him with the 46th pick of the draft for his impressive skill set.
He is a pretty good playmaker who has great court vision. De’Anthony has one of the highest basketball IQs out of anyone drafted. However, much like his future teammate Vincent Edward, Melton most efficient play is on the defensive end of the court.
Melton has great lateral quickness and speed to recover when switching in the open floor. What makes Melton even more dangerous on defense is his ability to steal. During the 2017 NCAA season, Melton led the Trojans in steals averaging 1.9 per game.
With Chris Paul and Michael Carter-Williams set to handle the point guard duties for the Rockets, it may be a long shot for Melton to make the team. However, it never too much to have a backup point guard with two who are injury prone.
Next: Should the Rockets have passed on DeMarcus Cousins?
The Houston Rockets will play a minimum of five games starting with the preliminary round July 6 – 10. The summer league playoffs will start on July 12 and the Finals will take place on July 17. Bring home the title Rockets!