There have been a few posts about various candidates for our lone draft pick, but there doesn't seem to be a thread yet for who should be chosen in general. That's a little odd, since this isn't unimportant. The Rockets are still reaping the benefits of a very good second round pick. So here is that thread.
There's the old argument of Best Player Available versus fit, and the ability to contribute immediately versus supposed upside. In the past, the Rockets have favored Best Player Available and Upside, but this year is a bit different.
If we get Dwight, we're not looking for a future star, we're looking for someone to hopefully fill out the rotation, and even if we don't get Dwight, we still have a core that's intended to last awhile. For these reasons, fit and ability to contribute immediately appear to be more important than they normally are.
The PG rotation is about locked down, and while the power forward rotation is still completely up in the air, we don't need another young big man. Five is plenty. Harden and Parsons are of course holding down the starting spots at shooting guard and small forward, and while it's hard to say who will be our starting center, it's safe to say it won't be a rookie taken in the 2nd round.
However, with options on Carlos Delfino and Francisco Garcia both expected to be declined, there is a gap on the bench: small forward and shooting guard. The Rockets need someone who can come off the bench, shoot threes, run in transition, and hopefully play defense. This is a great draft for that.
A lot of people have said this draft is a bad one, and that's true for a team with a high 1st round pick, prospecting for gold, but for a team with a late 1st or early second, prospecting for silver, this is a fantastic draft. It's brimming with players who are highly likely to become useful rotational cogs, and there are few positions with more depth than that of the 2/3 swingman.
Players like Otto Porter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Shabazz Muhammed will be long gone by the time 34 comes around, but there will still be swingmen availabe.
Some, perhaps most, of the following players will be gone by the time 34 comes around, but a few of them should fall. Allen Crabbe shot 38% from three for Cal, and rebounded well. Tim Hardaway Jr. shot 37% from three and allegedly plays good defense. Glen Rice Jr. spent the year with the rockets D-League affiliate after being kicked out of college for various good reasons, and shot 38.5% from three (this is the NBA three point line, remember, not the college) and lead the Vipers to the D-League championship. Sergey Kerasev is a Russian who probably won't make it all the way to 34, but if he does, the 19 year old's 35% shooting would be sweetened by his youth and the added flexibility of the draft and stash option. Angelo Sharpless is only 6"4, and he's 23, but he shot 35%, in college, is shooting better than that in workouts, and we'd have a fighting chance at wining the dunk contest.
At this point the parade of good shooters begins to run dry. Archie Goodwin is a bit undersized to play sf, and his 3-point shooting is nothing to get excited about, but his 79 years of assisting Nero Wolfe speak well to his intangibles. C.J. Leslie basically doesn't shoot threes at all. Deshuan Thomas shot 34.4%. Livio jean-Charles, a 19 year old Frenchmen, shot an excellent 42.9% from three last year... connecting on 6 of 14 attempts. Alex Abrines, a 19 year old Spaniard, is pulling a Benjamin Button as for a maturation of his shooting goes, getting worse as the years tick by, and Khalif Whyatt has joined him in that feat.
So, who do you think the Rockets should draft? Someone on that list? Someone who plays a different position entirely? Is arguing for a someone who will contribute now over a high upside project completely wrongheaded? And lastly, regardless of what you'd prefer, who will the Rockets draft?