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The future past four: What the Rockets should do in the later first round

How should the Rockets handle the later part of the draft if they strike out on the lottery?

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets lottery takes place on June 22, but the 23rd and 24th pick need discussion. If the Rockets do miss out on the 1-4 pick, they must depend on the second half of the first round. The Rockets’ front office could add more guards because of the direction they already have with Kevin Porter Jr., possibly even trading John Wall to encourage Porter’s growth.

Missing out on Cade Cunningham could become a huge blow for the Rockets, but their last two picks of the round are insightful. Jaden Springer and Ziaire Williams should be in front office discussions for the Rockets.

Before discussing those collegiate athletes, ridding themselves of Wall’s contract should be at the tilt first. The Los Angeles Clippers-Dallas Mavericks matchup has become a prominent watch. A nasty situation could happen to the Clippers’ organization if they lose against the Mavericks. Kawhi Leonard could depart from the Clippers because of the failed success with the organization.

If the Clippers do lose Leonard to the Miami Heat or Golden State Warriors, Wall could become a possible option for them. He will be making $44.3 million in the upcoming season with the Rockets. Hopefully, the Clippers can create more cap space for Wall because of his relationship with Paul George. Wall coming to the Clippers allows George to be more comfortable with Leonard possibly leaving.

Jaden Springer

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oregon State at Tennessee Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Now on to the draftees, which is the important part for the Rockets’ future. Springer is a competent shooter from the perimeter. Having shooting splits of 46.7/43.5/81 percent from the field made Springer efficient for the Tennessee Volunteers. His effective field goal percentage was at 51.1 percent, while averaging 12.5 points per game. Per 40 minutes, Springer averages 19.3 points per game. He is also an exceptionally good defender with a 94.2 defensive rating.

Springer’s shoulders allow him to create separation when he’s attacking the driving lanes, including his pro-hop. As of right now, he isn’t too versatile with the basketball, which makes him one-dimensional. Luckily, he can catch-and-shoot from different angles of the court. He does have a slight resemblance to Eric Gordon because of his size and height at 6’4 and 204lbs. Springer is a very physical guard who loves to punish smaller defenders on the court.

Ziaire Williams

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Williams is a versatile guard from Stanford at 6’8” with tremendous upside. Although he shot 29.1 percent from three off 4.2 attempts per game, his three-point shooting will improve on the right coaching staff in the NBA. If forced to put the ball on the ground, he can create his own shot by going left with step-backs. Like Springer, he can become a valuable shooter when open. Williams averaged 10.7 points per game while shooting 37.4 percent from the field. His shooting percentage could be a reason on why he dropped in the draft.

Williams is also a good mid-range shooter off pick-and-roll. During the season, he shot 42.7 percent. Another thing he has is athleticism around the rim. Hopefully, the Rockets could put him around Porter for kick-out shooting in the five-out offense. Coach Stephan Silas will allow him grow and create around the perimeter. Williams played in the same offensive system the Rockets run so no surprise if drafted by them.

Hopefully, the Rockets’ front office makes the right decisions.