ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26: Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies goes to the basket Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The latest on the Houston Rockets NBA Draft news front is nothing surprising, though the details may be useful to know. According to ESPN's Andy Katz, the Rockets are feverishly attempting to trade up to acquire the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
Exactly how persistent have they been in their pursuit of the pick? Meh, about ten offers worth [emphasis mine]:
Minnesota has four trade scenarios on its board for the No. 2 pick. As of midday Wednesday, the Timberwolves now are leaning toward Arizona's Derrick Williams over Kentucky's Enes Kanter of Turkey. But the Wolves are actively listening to offers for No. 2. Phoenix and Washington are two teams that aren't involved, but Houston, which owns pick No. 14, has proposed at least 10 different options for Minnesota's No. 2.
Funny enough, I have a hunch that all ten of these offers have excluded Kevin Martin. It's not practical to expect anything less than Martin, but somehow, I think Daryl Morey could swing a deal without trading his lanky efficiency gem. And that's only because I believe in the Minnesota Timberwolves and their ability to do not very smart things.
The odds that Houston pulls this off are low, but if a deal were to go through, I'd be a little concerned. I don't think this draft is as bad as some say. It's deep. You'll find solid rotation players as late as the thirties. But aside from Kyrie Irving, I don't see anyone capable of living up to "top five pick" status in the way that many players have in past years. If Derrick Williams pulls off the feat and becomes a star, it's my belief that he will only do so as a power forward. He's not quick enough to play the three.
Plus, how many young power forwards would a Williams deal give Houston on top of losing Martin? If Houston wants to draft for talent, fine. But moving Martin and piling on to the power forward position would be incredibly risky. Would the Rockets really be better off with that roster?
Speaking of trading Houston shooting guards, Draft Express dropped the following knowledge late Wednesday night:
Sounds like Houston has sweetned their offer to Milwaukee, now hearing Courtney Lee's name in trade talk for the #10 pick.
This tenth pick had better yield not only a sweet prospect but also a giant treasure chest full of diamonds and treasure maps that lead to more diamond-filled chests. Or something like that.
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Jonathan Feigen reported late Wednesday night that Houston has talked trades with Detroit, Charlotte and Sacramento, in addition to their talks with Milwaukee. While Jonas Valanciunas might have been the original object of Houston's affection, a new name has surfaced: Kemba Walker.
Word that Valanciunas could go fourth and Turkish center Enes Kanter might be drafted second or third changed many projections to follow, dropping Kemba Walker several spots and potentially out of the top 10. Jimmer Fredette could also reach the middle of the first round.
Should Kemba fall out of the top ten, and unless Utah succumbs to Jimmermania and takes the BYU guard at twelve, I don't think Walker gets past Jazz country. It could go any number of ways. In any case, if Walker is available, I would fully expect Houston to take him. He's the sort of dynamite scorer that Houston is looking for. I'm not a huge fan, but I'm not the final authority on this subject, either.
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Adrian Wojnarowksi delivered a juicy draft post this morning. Included near the bottom was this scrumptious leftover:
The Houston Rockets are offering cash for early second-round draft picks.
Two possibilities here: A) The Rockets want to add more picks to a potential trade offer, or B) The Rockets will be trading one or both of their first round picks but would still like to come away with one or two rookies. Let's see how it plays out.