It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets have been in dire need of a big man, as the Rockets entered the season with Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins as their only centers. Cousins has an extensive injury history so playing him more than 20 minutes wasn’t exactly optimal.
Wood’s injury made the need for an additional big man even more dire, as it left Cousins as the lone center on the roster. The Rockets tried to turn to a familiar face in Ray Spalding as a reserve big, but Spalding suffered an Achilles injury in just his second game with the team and was later released.
What Justin Patton could bring to the Houston Rockets
With Spalding out of the equation and Christian Wood still out for reportedly two more weeks, the Rockets found themselves looking for another big man, yet again. On Thursday night the Rockets turned to Justin Patton to fill that void.
Many may not be aware of Patton but he was the 16th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, being selected ahead of John Collins, OG Anunoby, Kyle Kuzma, Derrick White, and Josh Hart, to name a few. Patton has received very little playing time through his first three seasons in the NBA, but it’s worth examining why he was drafted so high in the first place.
Patton played one season at Creighton and made the All Big-East team and was named the Big East Rookie of the Year in 2016-17, posting averages of 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks, while making a gaudy 67.6 percent of his shots.
Patton has also thrived in the G-League, where he has flashed the talent that made him a near lottery pick in 2017.
Patton averaged 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in the G-League just last season, while also averaging 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes this season.
With Patton now getting an opportunity with the Houston Rockets, let’s take a look at what he could bring to the team.
Next: Nos. 3 and 4