Wow, the 2010 NBA Draft is fast approaching at break-neck speed! Let's take a look at the Houston Rockets, who own the 14th pick -- and that's it. Here's who they have committed (and not) for 2010-11...
[Note: per our friends at The Dream Shake, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been quoted as saying that Scola will definitely be back, so I put him as a "maybe" since he's not officially signed yet.]
Let's see what the mock draft boards have to say about the 14th pick...
Btw, I agree with The Dream Shake in that Morey will go after the best player available ("BPA"), based on his drafting Aaron Brooks when they already had three point guards is the clearest indication of that.
Over at Ridiculous Upside, the 2010 SB Nation Mock Draft had The Dream Shake selecting Eric Bledsoe, the unproven but dynamic combo guard out of Kentucky, and explained what they think is the Rockets' strategy:
The Rockets are scrambling to try to move into the top ten, and if they come away unsuccessful, they'll likely end up trading down to the late first round. They want to add a player in free agency, but they also want to draft a young player or at least come away with a new roster addition by the time June 24th has come to an end. But there are only so many roster spots available, leading me to believe that something much greater is at stake here than simply drafting at fourteen and using the MLE.
Okay, let's look at the mocks...
- 2010 SB Nation Mock Draft: Bledsoe (pg/sg, 6'1", 192, Kentucky, freshman).
- NBAdraft.net: Gordon Hayward (sf, 6'8", 211, Butler, sophomore).
- DraftExpress: Cole Aldrich (c, 6'11", 250, Kansas, junior).
- Chad Ford: Hassan Whiteside (c, 6'11", 225, freshman).
If you're going with need, then DraftExpress and Ford have selected big men who will team up with a who-knows-what-you'll-get Yao Ming coming back from injury.
If you're going with BPA, Bledsoe and Hayward are better predictions.
However, the issue I have with these BPA predictions is that:
- James Anderson, 3rd-leading scorer in the NCAA last season from Oklahoma State, is still available on NBAdraft.net's board.
- Anderson, Hayward, and Luke Babbitt are all still available on the 2010 SB Nation Mock Draft board.
The problem I have with Bledsoe is that, in the Kentucky game against Cornell, he completely disappeared. He had a terrible game in every facet. He couldn't shoot, couldn't dribble, couldn't pass. To me, Cornell is like a huge, overwhelming workout testing your fundamentals and basketball IQ. No, it's not a direct correlation to the NBA game, but it does tell you if you're more of an athlete or more of a basketball player. At the same time, DeMarcus Cousins had a great game and that's one reason I really like Cousins. Incidentally, John Wall was so-so in that game.
I'd take Anderson, Hayward, and especially Babbitt any day over Bledsoe if you're drafting BPA like Morey is expected to do for the Rockets.
Oh, and you know the funny thing about Hayward? He's kind of what Chase Budinger was supposed to be in college!
NEXT: Toronto Raptors or 19th pick for the Boston Celtics (which I forgot to discuss)
MIL - Power forward or shooting guard? (15th, 37th, 47th picks)
CHI - Shooting guard or big? (17th pick)
MIA - Riley's got some work to do (18th, 41st, 42nd, 48th picks)
SAS - Drafting guys into the Popovich system (20th, 49th picks)
POR - Odin a bigger impact than Oden? (22nd, 44th picks)
NYK - What if they don't get any marquee free agents? (38th, 39th picks)
OKC - Drafting bigs? (21st, 26th, 32nd, 51st picks)
LAL - D-Fish most talked about this summer? (43rd, 58th picks)
BOS - Oh Danny boy! (19th, 52nd picks)
PHX - Shoring up behind Amare? (46th, 60th picks)
ATL - Calling all shooting guards not named Joe (24th, 53rd picks)
ORL - Improving while Dwight improves (29th, 59th picks)
DAL - Depends on Dirk and Dampier dollars (50th, 57th picks)
CHA - S-Jax stuck (no draft picks)
DEN - Just need Coach Karl back? (no draft picks)
CLE - If you leave (no draft picks)