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Rockets should eye Chet Holmgren, Patrick Baldwin and Wendell Moore in NBA Draft

Chet Holmgren has impressed and could be a great pick for the Houston Rockets. And hopefully Wendell Moore or Patrick Baldwin Jr. slide to the 16th pick.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at St. Mary’s Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Chet Holmgren

I came to the conclusion that I now like Chet Holmgren. It took a while because of his body frame as a player. It’s not hard to ignore his size at 190 pounds, which is not frightening to NBA big men. Mark Few has done a great job of utilizing Holmgren in a five-out offense, as you seen him come off dribble handoffs and pin downs. Holmgren is also efficient in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop, as a screener and ballhandler. Another accolade that pops out of Holmgren is his ability to move in transition. It’s an understanding on why spectators call him the ‘Unicorn’.

On the season, Holmgren is averaging 14.4 points per game with shooting splits of 61.6/72.7/43.8/75.0 percent from the field. Holmgren’s wingspan and length allow him to get whatever shot on the court. No matter the angle or difficulty, Holmgren will always get his shot off. He also has incredible handles to go along with his quickness and speed that allow him to shoot off-the-dribble as well. His versatility as a player is the total package with a high ceiling.

Although Holmgren is skinny, he isn’t the easiest player to guard when coming downhill in transition. Holmgren had a ferocious dunk against San Francisco, as he attacked the opposing team in transition after snatching the rebound so he can finish at the rim. His slim figure should not be taken for granted because of his ability to finish in traffic.

Holmgren wingspan is 7’6”, which is tall as Yao Ming. Incredible. That wingspan gives him the defensive attributes to guard whoever on the court and block shots at the highest point. Holmgren has great footwork and lateral movement to stay in front of guards, forwards, and centers. He has a 77.7 defensive rating on the season with 3.5 blocks and 9.7 rebounds per contest. That is a scary statistic for him.


As I move on to the 16th pick in the draft, which could become the 18th or 19th pick in the draft because of Kevin Durant coming back, I mentioned before that Nikola Jovic would be the perfect pick for the Rockets, but they still need a contingency plan if he is gone: Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Wendell Moore.

NCAA Basketball: Bowling Green at Wis.-Milwaukee Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Baldwin has dropped because of the catastrophic season his team is having at Milwaukee University (10-22), which includes him too. He hasn’t lived up to his true potential, as he is averaging 12.1 points per game with shooting splits of 34.4/41.8/26.6/74.3 percent from the field. Baldwin struggled shooting the ball this season for the Panthers and he’s only played 11 games. Hopefully, he reaches his potential in the NBA, as his shot can be fixed with great coaching.

He was an ideal lottery pick at 6’9” with an incredible shooting range. Baldwin could get a shot on whoever and wherever on the court because of his wingspan at 6’11”. He does a fantastic job of creating off-the-dribble and shooting over defenders. And he can create shots in post-up opportunities.

I was high on Baldwin at the beginning of his season. He has incredible athleticism, as his first step towards the basket is explosive. It’s not hard for him to create a shot off a gather towards the rim or off-the-dribble. Baldwin is also good at being a playmaker in half-court sets or in transition. His court vison is shown at a huge sample. The only reason he went to Milwaukee is because of his dad, Patrick Baldwin Sr., who did coach there. As of Wednesday, his dad was released after five straight losing seasons. Baldwin’s talents were not enough to save his dad’s coaching job.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wendell Moore Jr.

Moore is an incredible athlete at Duke University. His ceiling is uncapped as a basketball player. He has the ability to attack and finish at the rim off-the-dribble, downhill, and in transition. At 6’5”, Moore has great ball handling skills that allow him to go around screens to create shots. Although he is averaging 13.2 points per game, he is shooting 51.2/57.0/40.2/76.4 percent from the field. Moore now has the ability to make an open three, as he worked on his shooting in the offseason. His third year at Duke has been a success. Moore’s game has grown in all aspects because of his tenure at Duke.

Moore’s offense has improved, but he really shines on defense. He is a great on-ball defender and knows how to pick the passes off in open lanes. Moore shows great discipline on defense by using his feet and strength bully his opponent. He does a phenomenal job on switch defense and can guard one through five. His defensive rating on the season is 96.6. Moore gives a slight reminder of Jonathan Kuminga on offense and defense.

There is still plenty of time to decide on both picks, as my draft board changes frequently. March Madness will give me a better idea on the Houston Rockets should select with the second pick.