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Breaking down the 2015 Houston Rockets' Summer League Roster

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The day before the Las Vegas Summer League starts up the Rockets finally announce their roster and we're here to break it down for you.

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One of my favorite times of the year starts tomorrow.  The Las Vegas Summer League and our own Ethan Rothstein is going to be there covering some games for TDS.  I was originally going to make the pilgrimage to Vegas as well, but some wild fires near my home are keeping me home this year.  The Rockets have finally announced the 15 guys they are going to be sending to Vegas this years and here is a quick breakdown of the roster and whether they have a chance to make the roster or not.

Who is your dark horse to make the roster?  Who did we under rate?

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

46

J.J. Avila

F

6'7"

246

Colorado State

R

Avila is a power forward trapped in a small forward's body.  In college/league he had great size and strength, but I'm not sure that translates to the NBA.  He does have some touch from the outside, but not much.  He does rebound well and scores inside efficiently.

Projection: D-League Body.

#

#

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

15

Clint Capela

C

6'10"

245

Switzerland

1

We all know what Capela can do.  It will be interesting to see what he's added to his game in the last couple of months.

Projection: Back-up center on the NBA squad.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

29

Aubrey Coleman

G

6'4'

200

Houston

2

Apparently he's not the 6'4" that the University of Houston had him listed at.  At the 2010 combine he measured in at just over 6'1".  He can score the basketball though.  His senior season he averaged 25.6 points a night.  He's bounced around the world trying to hone his craft, but at age 27 not sure that the NBA is in his future.  Another stint in the D-League or Europe is in his future.

Projection: Euro bound.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

14

Will Cummings

G

6'2"

175

Temple

R

He's never been a great shooter or even a decent shooter for that matter.  He's also not really a pure point guard either.

Projection: Using his degree in the real world or playing for a third rate Euro team.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

7

Sam Dekker

F

6'9"

230

Wisconsin

R

Here is the first guy to be a lock on making the roster.  Some of the things I will be looking for with him is how he fits in the flow of an "NBA" style game, how much of a leadership role does he take, how he looks defensively against quicker competition and how he looks to score the basketball.  I also want to see what positions besides the three he will end up playing, I can see him playing some four in a small lineup and stretching the floor, but will the Rockets trust him enough to give him a shot at the two and maybe give James Harden some spell during the season?  With his basketball IQ and passing ability he can play high in the league if given the opportunity.

Projection: 3rd small forward on NBA squad.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

35

Montrezl Harrell

F

6'8"

240

Louisville

R

Here is another rookie that we can get a locker prepped for at the Toyota Center.  I'm always a little shocked to see that he's only 6'8" because with his length and his motor he plays so much bigger than that.  By the end of the year I think he's going to replace Terrence Jones in the rotation.

Projection: 3rd power forward to start, 2nd power forward to finish year.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

28

Pierria Henry

G

6'5"

197

Charlotte

R

I've only seen the kid play a couple times, but he does have a high motor, his shot is a little broken (it can be fixed) and he does a lot of the little intangible things really well.  He averaged over five rebounds and assists during his last season in college and almost shot 80% from the free throw line.

Projection: D-League backup.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

3

Nick Johnson

G

6'3"

200

Arizona

1

I want to see how he can run the team.  The Rockets are going to need someone to eventually take minutes from the ageless Jason Terry.  Summer League isn't the end all, be all proving ground, but it can show how he's progressed from last year's summer games.

Projection: 3rd point guard on the NBA squad.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

26

Jaron Johnson

G

6'4"

200

Louisiana Tech

1

Johnson was a late bloomer in college and he ended up being the starting point guard for the Rio Grand Valley Vipers last year.  During his inaugural three game stretch he scored 21 points a night with six boards and shot 48% from three.

Projection: D-League starter with 3rd NBA guard potential.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

50

D.J. Kennedy

F

6'6"

215

St. John's

1

Kennedy's had a cup of coffee in the NBA and had some time for a few D-League teams (including the 2013 D-League champ Vipers).  He's been a mainstay in the Summer League circuit trying to catch on to an NBA team since 2012.  He definitely has talent, averaging almost 17 points and 8 rebounds in his D-League career.

Projection: D-League bound.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

18

Denzel Livingston

G

6'4"

178

Incarnate Word

R

He's a local boy who can fill up the basket.  Livingston has a sweet shot; his range is a bit suspect (34% from three).  Despite his wiry frame he can take contact and finish at the rim.  His length and awareness allows him to play the lanes extremely well which leads to almost three steals a game.

Projection: D-League bound.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

19

Glen Rice

G

6'6"

206

Georgia Tech

2

If it wasn't for Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer and Sam Dekker on the main roster, Rice would be a dark horse to make the roster.  He played for the Vipers last season averaging 20.5 points and over six boards a game.  There's an outside shot he could make the roster as a backup shooting guard.  It's way outside though.

Projection: D-League starter

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

38

Chris Walker

F

6'10"

220

Florida

R

Walker is a high energy forward/center who is somewhere between 208 and 220 pounds.   Not sure that would work in the NBA though.  He either needs to develop an outside game overnight or talk to Alex Rodriguez or Barry Bonds about their weight gaining regiment.

Projection: Turkish league bound.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

51

Alan Williams

F/C

6'8"

261

UCSB

R

When you first look at Williams you won't expect much, then you actually watch him play and you can see some Sam Perkins in his game.  That's something I don't throw around lightly either.  He doesn't have a jump shot, but he has a smooth set shot he's very confident in.  His range is easy out to about 18 feet, but 20 feet is definitely in his wheelhouse.  He's light on his feet and can stay in front of quicker guards on the perimeter.  Williams is not going to be a shot blocker in the NBA, however, he can clog the lane and make it difficult to the basket.

There is a lot to like about his kid and I like his game a lot.

Projection: D-League for sure, outside shot he makes a main roster somewhere.

#

Name

Position

Height

Weight

College/Country

Exp

36

Christian Wood

F

6'11"

220

UNLV

R

Despite being a highly thought of player in many rankings and mock drafts (usually falling in the 25-30 prospects/picks) Christian Wood from UNLV went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft.

I can't quite point out why exactly he didn't get drafted.  I did not hear anything in regards to him being a potential head case or a locker room antagonist.  There are numerous players in this draft and in last years draft that he is undoubtedly more talented than.

Wood showed pretty decently at the draft combine and various work outs.  In the workouts he showed a great first step, has solid mid-range catch and shoot ability and even showed that he can stroke it from NBA three-point range.

You can then go back to his college tape and look at how he uses his phenomenal length (7'4" wingspan and 9'4" standing reach... long, long arms) to be a natural defender.  In college he could defend on the ball in the post and step out on the perimeter to guard smaller players.  He's got the awareness to be a menace coming from the weak side.

Where his biggest issue coming to the league is his body weight.  Just a meager 216 pounds.  He's slated to play the four mostly at the NBA level, maybe get some minutes at the five, but he's not good enough outside to get the minutes at the three (yet).  With him playing in the paint against guys like LaMarcus AldridgeTim DuncanMarc Gasol and countless others, he's going to get his lunch eaten every night.  He definitely needs to get into the weight room.

During the Las Vegas Summer League I'm actually looking forward to seeing him play, I think he's going to be one of the standout players.  Not just for the Rockets, but in the whole league.  In the end I think he makes the team and come the regular season I think he'll end up competing for minutes.

Projection: Makes the NBA roster and has a couple trips to the D-League for seasoning.