Quick Draft Tidbits: Rockets acquire Jermaine Taylor, Sergio Llull, and Chase Budinger

Jermaine Taylor, one of three second round picks by the Houston Rockets in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Finally found some Internet connection.  So, in the limited time I have, I'll update you on some stuff.  Chances are, I'm not going to be able to find a computer again until either Sunday or Monday, so there won't be any major draft analysis until then.  In the meantime:

Please welcome your newest Rockets

Jermaine Taylor

Sergio Llull

Chase Budinger

Please waive goodbye to:

Cash.

Daryl Morey's Press Confrence (have not viewed this yet)

A few thoughts:

  • Exactly how much cash did we give up?  A few years ago, cash deals may not have been a very intriguing subject, but we're in a recession here, people.  As much money as we have to spend, it would be nice to see the Rockets active in free agency next season.  And that's on top of having re-sign the majority of our entire roster.
  • I told you that Chase Budinger could happen.  But I didn't think it would happen in the second round.  It's a great value pick, and probably one of the best values in the draft.  I still hate the fact that San Antonio took DeJaun Blair so late.
  • Why Sergio Llull over Patty Mills?  Well, for one thing, Morey has said that he would like to keep some Euro talent overseas and see how they develop.  Taking Mills would give us a third point guard under 25 years old.  We'd like to add a point guard for the here and now, but we'd much rather have a veteran presence to surround Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry with.
  • Jermaine Taylor was always a possibility, but if we knew we could get Budinger, I'm not sure why we took Taylor.  It's not like we gave up anyone important to get him, but again, unless we just have some insane amount of cash to spend, I would have liked to hold on to some of it to use later.  Then again, bringing in both Taylor and Budinger allows us to evaluate and develop more talent, which is never a bad thing.  This should also push James White to work even harder, as if he needed any more motivation.
After the jump: Scattered scouting reports on Taylor, Llull, and Budinger.

Jermaine Taylor  -- DraftExpress.com

In going back to analyze the tape we have of Taylor from Synergy Sports Technology, a few things stand out when comparing the footage to what we saw live. The most notable contrast is how much more evident Taylor's athleticism was in this setting as opposed to at Central Florida, primarily due to the different level of defensive attention he was paid. At UCF, Taylor saw frequent double teams and aggressive weakside rotations on his drives to the rim, which in combination with his just adequate ball-handling led to him not being able to often fully utilize his athletic tools. Here at Portsmouth, being able to operate out of a Flex offense that put in many more isolation situations where he only needed a single dribble to get to the rim, and generally getting the ball with more space to operate, Taylor really shined, showing how explosive and versatile an athlete he really is.

Taylor doesn't have the greatest command of advanced ball-handling moves just yet, and his left hand is noticeably underdeveloped, but his slashing game is quite effective for other reasons, namely his strong first step in combination with his excellent body control and shiftiness with the ball in the lane. He's terrific at making strong, aggressive moves coming off a screen or in other quick actions, showing great footwork and excellent body control. Also, while he isn't the most versatile ball-handler, he's effective enough with the ball in space and he shows a good understanding of his limitations, as evidenced by his outstanding 0.13 turnovers per possession this season, which is even more impressive given that Taylor has the third highest usage rate in our database.

Taylor's well-developed frame allows him to finish through contact at the rim, while he also has a solid floater in his repertoire that he can utilize when necessary. His mid-range game is an effective weapon as well, being able to pull up in the 5-15 feet range going in either direction. Taylor's body control on pull-up jumpers is exceptional, always staying upright with shoulders squared to the rim, however his release is prone to sloppiness when he has a hand in his face, leading to some errant misses.

Taylor's jump shot in general is also impressive, as he shows range to the college three-point line with very strong form, being capable of scoring coming off screens, spotting up, or pulling up. As with his mid-range game, his release can get sloppy when a defender closes out hard, but otherwise his form is excellent.

As for the other aspects of his offensive game, Taylor shows solid court vision even though he didn't dish out many assists at UCF. His passing game is clearly a work in progress, as he definitely has a scorer's mentality, and it showed when he tried to adjust his game at Portsmouth, leading to some ill-advised turnovers. Taylor is also aggressive on the offensive glass, using his combination of strength and athleticism to get his hands on balls over players much bigger than himself.

On the defensive end, Taylor is fairly unimpressive, not making use of his excellent physical tools consistently, showing an inconsistent stance with perimeter defense, not putting in consistent effort to move laterally, constantly lagging through screens off the ball, and showing a general lack of focus oftentimes. Still, it's clear that he has considerable potential on this end of the floor with his wingspan and athleticism, and it does manifest from time to time, though he has a long way to go to even be an average defender by NBA standards.

Sergio Llull -- NBADraft.net:

Strengths: Point guard with good size and quickness … Knows how to get by people off the dribble … Utilizes misdirection and change of pace dribbles to keep defenders guessing … Has the ability to turn the corner to get to the hoop … Handles the ball extremely well and is able to make moves while going full speed or while in traffic … Likes to attack and push the tempo in transition, where he can use his speed to create opportunities … An extremely confident player who is not afraid to take the big shots … Can be dangerous when he gets into a rhythm where he can string together a run all by himself … Is very efficient scoring the ball (shot 57% from 2 PT in Euroleague play, and 50% in the Spanish league) … Shoots a high percentage from the foul line …

Weaknesses: Even though he handles the ball for large portions of the game, he is not a natural playmaker … Looks to attack, but does not keep his head up to survey the options … Tends to leave his feet to make passes, which gets him into trouble on a regular basis … Shoots a lot of contested and off balance shots, instead of keeping his dribble and getting to the basket … Does not have the body strength or leaping ability to finish at the basket efficiently … Loses his balance and gives up ground when taking contact … His shot is fairly streaky, especially when shooting on the move or off the dribble … His stroke is smooth, but the release comes slightly off the side of his head and it is a bit low … Defensively, he is lackadaisical and very undisciplined, struggles staying infront of people and also fouls at a very high clip (averages 2.3 fouls in just 21 minutes per game) ...

Chase Budinger -- ESPN.com

     Positives:

  • Super-explosive swingman
  • Deep 3-point range
  • Scorer's mentality, always looking for his shot
  • Solid rebounder for a guard because of his leaping ability.

    Negatives: 

  • Ballhandling needs work
  • Doesn't possess much of an in-between game
  • Needs to continue to add strength
  • Doesn't use his athleticism in games
  • Will he play defense?
  • Laid-back, lacks leadership
  • Obviously, you can find more scouting reports if you wish.  Check Rockets.com for more information.

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