The Houston Rockets have a problem, and in today’s age of basketball, if you can’t shoot, you will likely not win. Enter Jordan Hawkins. The 6’5” quick-trigger Guard out of UCONN has the ability to slide in the rotation and have to be accounted for from outside of the arc.
While Hawkins may not have the high-end potential that puts him at the top of the draft, the upside to inserting a collegiate champion with three-and-D potential into the lineup has him projected to go anywhere from the late lottery to early 20s in the draft.
Houston has been able to harvest immense value on both of its picks in the teens over the past two drafts in Alperen Şengün and Tari Eason. Based on that alone, it’s worth trusting that Rafael Stone can work some magic again at the 20th slot.
If Hawkins were to last 20 picks, it would be fortuitous, but with an abundance of picks and limited roster spots, it’s worth trading up for him if he turns out to be Houston’s target.
There’s two particular reasons I’m high on the former Husky, one being that he excels at moving without the ball, thus creating more open looks compared to a stationary shooter. The other reason I think he’d look great in Rockets Red is the championship pedigree that he would bring to a roster mired in losing.
Even though he’s just a rookie, the 21 year old fits into the timeline with the rest of the core. Houston’s goal for next season certainly figures to be getting back into the postseason, and as the NCAA Tournament showed us, he doesn’t shy away from big games.
Looking at how the Denver Nuggets were able to incorporate Christian Braun into their playoff rotation made me consider who the next Braun could be. Like Hawkins, Braun was also coming off a March Madness run when the Nuggets took him
It also didn’t hurt catching Hawkins’ last game live, a thorough victory that UCONN imposed on San Diego State. Even from the depths of the nosebleeds, I couldn’t stop my eyes from fixating on number 24 for the Huskies as he helped cap off their impressive tournament.
Also consider that should the Rockets get Hawkins, it may lessen the need to go after a sniper such as Seth Curry, and it could allow the team to pursue other needs. For the record, I’ll take both. More the merrier for a team that was awful behind the line last year.