With the 2018 NBA Draft just hours away and the Houston Rockets holding only the 46th overall pick in the second round tonight after trading away their first-rounder for Chris Paul last summer, the team is reportedly interested in moving back up into round one.
According to USA Today Rockets writer Kelly Iko, the target of Houston GM Daryl Morey’s affection is Duke guard Grayson Allen.
After a phenomenal sophomore season at Duke in which he averaged 21.6 points per game and shot over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three, Allen was thought to be a star in the making. He never quite found the same success in the following seasons, however, slipping to 14.5 points per game his junior year and finishing out his senior season at Duke scoring 15.5 per game.
His career was also marred by a tripping controversy in which Allen was caught intentionally tripping his opponent on multiple occasions. He was first reprimanded by the NCAA and then later suspended and stripped of his team captain status by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He was then busted for tripping again in the 2018 ACC tournament in which he received a flagrant 1, and those incidents combined with his slippage in play to cause him to fall down most team’s draft boards following his senior year.
In fact, most teams had him listed as either a second-round or even an undrafted talent, which was quite the fall for a player who seemed a sure-fire first-rounder just two years earlier.
But following some stellar pre-draft workouts and impressive one-on-one interviews, Allen has once again skyrocketed up the boards of many teams, and apparently the Rockets are one of them.
According to Iko, one of Daryl Morey’s goals is to take a generally older roster and get a bit younger, and the 23-year-old Allen would certainly fit that bill.
The next step would be figuring out what it would take to get the Rockets into the first round, and Houston is said to be active right now in trying to put together a package in order to move up.
Some Draft Scuttle from@New York - The Houston Rockets apparently are exploring a trade that would get them a mid-lottery pick. Rockets apparently tried to get players in for workouts yesterday and today.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 20, 2018
With not a lot of other draft capital, any package most likely includes a player or players, and with Houston’s apparent desire to get younger, that likely means they’re looking to deal one of their vets.
No one’s getting Houston into round one for Ryan Anderson, and with Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green free agents and P.J. Tucker not going anywhere, that basically leaves Eric Gordon as the only remaining trade bait.
What do you think, Dream Shakers? Would you give up EG to get into the first round for Allen? What about for another player?