Day 25 of our 2017 NBA Draftmas special focuses on the needs and targets of the Houston Rockets 2017 draft.
Houston Rockets 2017 Draft Summary
Under newly hired head coach Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets had an incredibly successful year. The team finished 55-27, although their season was cut short after losing in six games to a talented and well-coached San Antonio Spurs team in the Western Conference semifinals.
D’Antoni moved superstar James Harden to the point position on offense, which further enhanced their offensive success. Harden averaged 29 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds per game on 44 percent field goal percentage. His ability to score and facilitate has continuously kept the Rockets in title contention.
Other impact starters included Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverly and Clint Capela, who were clearly the team’s best defensive players. Ariza and Beverly both averaged over one steal per game, while Capela averaged over one block.
The Rockets’ bench depth included two Sixth Man of the Year candidates, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams, who averaged about 16 and 15 points per game respectively. Young guys like Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker showed that they can also be impact players as well.
The Rockets’ offense ranked first in three pointers attempted per game and second in points per game, showing that their offense needs no adjustments. On the other hand, their defense could use some tweaking, as they ranked 26th in points per game, 20th in blocks and 15th in defensive rebounding.
Houston Rockets 2017 Draft Picks & Needs
The Rockets traded their first round pick along with Corey Brewer to the Los Angeles Lakers in February in return for Lou Williams. This leaves Houston with only two selections in the upcoming draft, with both being in the middle of the second round.
First Round: N/A
Second Round: No. 43 (Via DEN), No. 45 (Via POR)
With defense being their glaring need, the Rockets will likely add a forward that can be a versatile defender as well as an above average rebounder.
Targets & Thoughts
Pick #43: Jaron Blossomgame, Forward, Clemson
In his senior season, Blossomgame averaged 18 points, six rebounds and one block on 50 percent field goal percentage. He is a strong and athletic forward, who can use his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame to guard the two through four positions with ease. His explosiveness will allow him to be an exceptional rebounder and finisher near the basket.
He shot over 44 percent from three on more than three 3-pointers attempted per game in his junior season. His defensive and rebounding skills paired with his ability to hit the three makes him a great fit for Houston.
Pick #45: Isaiah Hicks, Forward, UNC
Another senior, Hicks helped the North Carolina Tar Heels win a National Championship during the 2016-17 season. His per 40 minute averages were 20 points, 9 rebounds, one steal and one block per game.
In his junior season, he was awarded the ACC Sixth Man of the Year award after averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds per game on about 62 percent field goal shooting.
Hicks’ 6-foot-9, 245-pound frame allows him to be a menacing physical presence down low. Hicks would be a great fit in Houston as he would add a needed rebounding and defensive presence on the low block who also having enough athleticism to defend the perimeter.
With defense and rebounding as their blatant needs, the Rockets would be smart to add an older player out of the draft who can impact the game on the defensive end while also being able to attack the glass.
Jaron Blossomegame is a defensive stud whose athleticism will allow him to be a menace on the boards for a small forward. Isaiah Hicks would also fit the bill, as his defensive ability paired with his aggressiveness on the glass would make him a perfect piece for the Rockets moving forward.
Thanks for checking out the Houston Rockets 2017 NBA Draft profile and tune in tomorrow for day 26 of our NBA Draftmas special to see what the Washington Wizards may do.
“From Our Haus to Yours”