I know ! I know ! Another undersized guard? Blasphemous!
I am a UT product, but I am not making this case because of my orange blood.
I still think the Rockets should draft a big man, but not necessarily at 14.
Draftexpress had us drafting Bradley at 14 in their last mock, that has since changed to Cole Aldrich, who is probably a better fit. However,after some consideration and research, I found that Avery Bradley has some intriguing values that may make him a better fit than I originally thought.
The Rockets have some depth at 2. After Kevin Martin, there's Taylor, and Bud as a swingman can play shooting guard. We also goes with Lowry and ABZ from time to time, but as far as defense goes, only Lowry qualifies as a decent defender, and he usually defend point guards. Bud has the tools, but has not shown great ability at the defensive end. I have no idea how good of a defender Taylor is since he had limited time, but his reputation were of the offensive nature as well. Let's face it, our perimeter defense often hinges entirely on Ariza and Battier's shoulders.
Enter Avery Bradley, one of the few higher NBA guard prospects that not only play defense well, he excels at it. Usually, a guard marked with defense as one of their greater strength means he has some glaring weakness on offense. Not the case with Bradley, who is very refined shooter who excel at running off pick and screens, and who runs plays a ton of screens and picks? The Rockets !( Well technically everyone, but we certainly dont run any less). He has the ability to create for himself and can be tremendous scorer. He's measure in at 6'3 which is short for SG, but he makes up for it with a ridiculous wingspan of 6'7 and excellent athleticism, and being a only 19, he may still get a couple inches (may). Because of his inconsistent year wit UT, people may forget he and John Wall were both touted as the best guards coming out of high school. Obviously, John Wall had a much more impressive year, but I think Bradley can be a pretty strong prospect himself in the mode of Ben Gordon with defense.
Bradley's size is what's hurting his stock, if he were 6'6', people would be all over him. Many teams wants to convert him into a PG, but he seems to lack the vision of a playmaker. I wouldn't know since Barnes never tried him out as a point guard, and he seems to be pretty effective at playing off the ball most of the time. He does have selfish tendencies at times, but the Texas chemistry last year fell apart early, and was never rekindled. I dont see him as a starter in the NBA unless paired with a special talent with great vision, I.E. a Lebron/Kobe/Wade/Roy(yes, I put Roy here), but he would be a fantastic option of the bench with his scoring ability and defense (I like to think of him as a better JJ reddick, or a Eric Gordon). Not to mention if he learn to play the lead guard a bit, he may be an option as the 3rd PG.
But still, He's no where near a Rockets rumor and does not seem to be on our radar, why am I making a case for him? Well, here it is, Avery is a midround prospect in every sense of the word. Too small and limited to gamble on in the first 10 pick, too talented to pass on later. Pacer is taking a look at him, Raptors is taking a look at him, and the Blazers are taking a look at him. Some of these team may be willing to talk to us for that 14th pick. Maybe Pacer wants to swap that 10th pick with us so that Avery will get less money. The Raptors can pick him right before us, but maybe they are prepping for a certain big guy to leave their team, and wants a Hassan Whiteside for insurance. Blazers might be willing to talk a trade down scenario with us(say your 22nd and 44th pick?). Even if no draft day deals materialize, Avery can still be an opening day contributor, or a solid back up plan if Battier departs and Bud has to slide to the 3.
Interesting enough thought?
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