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Rockets Select Isaiah Canaan In 2013 NBA Draft

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The Rockets select Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan with the 34th pick in the NBA Draft

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Isaiah Canaan: A Gunslinger

The Houston Rockets stood firm in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft.

With Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley on the roster the Rockets did the unexpected in the second round by taking a point guard, Murray State senior Isaiah Canaan.

Canaan was seen as a first round talent before the most unpredictable draft in memory began.

Both Draft Express and NBA Draft.net had Canaan going in the late first round. He slipped in the draft, most likely because teams don't see his body as "NBA ready," and he's now a Houston Rocket.

Strengths:

Canaan is a 22 year-old known for his shooting and penetration -- He is a scorer and a gunslinger.

As a senior he scored an impressive 22.4 ppg while shooting 42.9% from the field.

He gets to the hole with regularity and draws contact to the tune of 6.2 FTA per game. His scoring came primarily from dribble penetration and pull up jumpers.

The guy always knows where the basket is.

He shot 45.6% from three in the 2011 - 2012 NCAA season.

Over the past two seasons he's shown a proficiency at pull up jump shots and spot up jumpers. He shouldered the load of the Murray State offense this past season and is credited as being a work horse.

I can't help but think Aaron Brooks when reading profiles.


Questions:

Canaan may not have an NBA body at only 6 feet tall. He's undersized to adequately defend larger point guards and he's a clear vulnerability when defending the pick and roll.

He has performed best as a scorer, it's not known if he can transition to a pass first point guard.

Analysts say he lacks court vision and his athleticism is average.

Analysis:

Canaan is going to Orlando for the Summer League.

It appears Morey stuck to his "best available" theory and drafted a first round talent who fell to the second round.

It's almost certain that Canaan will not be in the rotation on opening day, but he could certainly find himself a place as an offensive spark plug.

The most important thing to watch: Do the Rockets want to embrace Canaan as he is? Or do they want to see him transition to a pass first guard?

Second round draft picks do not receive a guaranteed contract. The Rockets can sign them for the league minimum with no cap hit. They can also take them to Summer League and cut them.

The Rockets have not added any salary at this point. They also have not traded Thomas Robinson yet. They will still need to clear some space to make a maximum free agent contract offer to Dwight Howard.