How’s this for a start? After getting snagging Jabari Smith Jr. with the third pick, the Houston Rockets doubled down on long, athletic forwards who can defend by selecting LSU forward Tari Eason with the 17th pick.
The 6’8” Eason averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, and he shot 56.4 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from deep. He does have a slight hitch in his shot, but that should be smoothed out at the NBA level.
But where he really makes his mark is on the defensive end. He has a 7’2” wingspan and was considered one of the top defensive prospects in this draft and was slated in some mocks to go in the top 10.
Last year, Houston had the worst defense in the league, and now adding two of the draft’s longest, most versatile, most athletic and most skilled defenders available should certainly make an impact.
Both Eason and Smith can guard multiple positions, and a team that had a deficit of size and defense now has the opportunity to flip it into a strength.
Heck of a draft so far for the Rockets, with one more pick to come.