The Houston Rockets drafted two great forwards on draft night in Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker with the 18th pick and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell with the 32nd pick (2nd round). Dekker was a 3 year player for Bo Ryan and averaged 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, .5 blocks and .5 steals per game as a junior. Dekker was a vital player in the Badgers quest for an NCAA Title, a quest that ultimately ended with a loss in the Finals to the Duke Blue Devils.
Montrezl Harrell is a great value pick for the Houston Rockets. A 3 year player under coach Rick Pitino, Harrell was prospected as a potential mid to late 1st round pick. Instead, Harrell was selected with the 2nd pick of the 2nd round and finds a home with a contender in the Houston Rockets. Harrell figures to be a combo forward. While he’s a bit undersized for the 4 and a bit to slow for the 3, he’ll play some sort of combo forward in the NBA. He worked on his outside shot in college to prep himself for playing time at the 3 at the NBA level. He’ll bring toughness and energy to the Rockets locker room.
Moving forward, the NBA’s Free Agency period is just about to begin. The Rockets are looking to be big players but will have to be cautious about it. They want to bring in another big name, someone like Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge to play alongside Dwight Howard in the paint. The Rockets were not far off from reaching the NBA Finals last season. The team was hampered by injuries to point guard Patrick Beverley and forward Donatas Montiejunas which ultimately hurt them come playoff time. GM Daryl Morey would like to keep this team together and has the opportunity to do so and add his two draft picks to the mix. Some of their own key free agents include Jason Terry, Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, Pablo Prigioni, and Patrick Beverley. It’ll be interesting to see who stays, who goes, and who will be acquired via free agency or trade.