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NBA Rookie Week: Sam Dekker is a wild card

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It's NBA Rookie Week here at SB Nation, where we take a look at the contributions and future of each team's rookies. Time for a quick glance at Sam Dekker.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Dekker's a difficult grade this season. The promising, young forward out of Wisconsin has spent the majority of the year on the shelf recovering from back surgery, and has an extremely small sample size of court time to examine.

Before going out Nov. 18, Dekker played in just three games with the Rockets, averaging only two minutes per game with no real quantifiable statistical contributions to speak of. His biggest contributions have come with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rocket's D-League-affiliate. Even then, his numbers are modest.

Dekker's played in seven games with the Vipers, averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 23.2 minutes per game. His shooting has been subpar, as he hit just 41.8 percent of his shots from the field and 23.7 percent from deep, showing there's significant room for improvement.

The Rockets have since recalled him to get in some much-needed practice time with the big boys, but he's received no in-game court time in the NBA since his return, with the Rockets making an end-of-year push to just make the postseason. It's important to remember that he's a rookie recovering from a major surgery, so expectations for an immediate integration should be tempered.

While we likely won't have a chance to really see what Dekker can do until next year (unless, of course, the Rockets bottom out these last several weeks), his ceiling appears similar to a Chandler Parsons-type shooter-slasher-playmaker, with the height (he's 6'9") to be effective on defense at times, even if his lack of strength is a liability.

Make no mistake, though, Dekker was drafted with an eye towards offense, and if he can expand upon the skills he showed at Wisconsin post-back surgery, the Rockets will be in good shape for the future. With roster turnover expected in the offseason, Dekker should get every opportunity next year to prove his worth in red.