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Iko implies Smith was at the top of Houston's board...

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Houston77, Jun 27, 2022.

  1. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    Orlando can get back to the playoffs pretty quickly with the Banchero/Wagner/Carter trio if they can fix their backcourt asap. One (or two) of the Suggs/Fultz/Anthony group has got to go.
     
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  2. dawesome

    dawesome Member

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    Perhaps, Orlando always had Paolo as their no1. They were so convinced that they didnt hv to see him work out for them. They invited Jabari and Chet just to make sure they wouldnt have second thoughts. They were right, didnt like them both and picked Paolo.
     
  3. Xopher

    Xopher Member

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    If you have 2 players rated equally then it makes since to draft for fit. That is what Orlando did. Also they may have seen Banchero more marketable as well so this could have pushed him to the top, all things being equal.
     
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  4. BreakYoSelfFool

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    I heard that Tillman and Stone consulted Jalen Green about his preferences in the draft. It seems he may have preferred Paolo over Jabari, but in the end the Rockets get to say they had no choice. I can only imagine the conversation:

    Tillman: What do you think about Chet?
    Green: Chet is cool, he is super tall and plays good defense. I think he's a good pick.
    Stone: How about Jabari?
    Green: That's my lil bro. He plays shoots well and plays hard. I hate playing against him though, he never leaves you alone when he's guarding you.
    Tillman: What about Banchero?
    Green: Paolo, that's my bro! He's ready for the NBA. KPJ and I talk to him every other day about how cool it would be to play with him.
     
  5. Verbal Christ

    Verbal Christ Member

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    I agree. Overall I dont like their roster too much in particular their guard room. Going Banchero may be a hard reset for that franchise. I do like the two man game Paolo and Wagner will provide the pick and pop 3 with Wagner will be a staple for that team.
     
  6. Verbal Christ

    Verbal Christ Member

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    Who did you hear that from?
     
  7. Hank McDowell

    Hank McDowell Member

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    Exactly this. My guess is they felt the same way, would have been content with any of the three, but Smith just kind of fell in their lap. I wanted him pretty badly, but not enough more than the others to overpay to move up. I'm sure they felt the same way and It just worked out right for once!
     
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  8. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    I’ll entertain the idea that the media created the draft order before teams actually put their work in and it influenced agent/player decision making. That said if you have the number 1 pick, it’s not hard to convince Paolo that he’s genuinely in the conversation and you want him in for workouts.

    What Orlando did wreaks of mismanagement but fortunately for them, Paolo is a legitimately good selection so nothing wrong with actually taking him 1st.
     
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  9. BreakYoSelfFool

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  10. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    Nothing wrong with Orlando trying to get us to bite. That was a smart try. Don't get why some need to ridicule them...
     
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  11. ball king23

    ball king23 Member

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    i got to give it to OKC stuck to their board and they went with Chet
     
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  12. CXbby

    CXbby Member

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    Question is bite on what? Everyone thought they were taking Jabari, so that means they wanted us to trade up for Jabari - which presumes that Jabari was #1 on our board.
     
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  13. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member
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    Pretty simple, they had a hunch we'd have Jabari #1 on our board, and they wanted assets from us along with Banchero. Makes sense that they'd rave about Jabari to try and squeeze us. Raf didn't bite.

    Rox putting out the Banchero love makes a ton of sense in this context. Win/win for us. If Banchero slips to 3, we wanted him all along, If Jabari slips, we throw a parade. Either way, no assets for Orlando.
     
  14. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    It's impossible to know what was going on behind the scenes, but just applying some backseat armchair game theory thinking to it all:

    1. Orlando didn't tip their hand until the last minute because they really didn't know who they preferred until the last minute. I think the consensus chatter right after the draft had them with a 1. Jabari 2. Chet 3. Paolo big board, with a few dissenting opinions preferring Chet. But right at the moment of the draft, if you listened to Clutch and Bima on the Twitter Space right when it happened for instance, a lot of unbiased people just looking at the situation objectively--based on their existing roster and lack of a playmaking alpha, really dating back to Jameer Nelson and before him T-Mac--would have said that Paolo was the best fit. So they really went into a tough situation, having a number one pick in a draft with no clear consensus #1, where passing up on a potential future HOF could mean the end of that GM's tenure. Bringing in Jabari and Chet seemed like a no-brainer move, and nobody in the NBA or podcast-verse criticized them for seemingly settling on those two as their main options.

    2. The temptation of pulling a Celtics-Sixers Fultz-Tatum trade was a huge driver of Orlando's behavior leading up to the draft. If they couldn't decide who they wanted, they were for damn sure going to pressure any team out there who had a conviction about who they would have wanted at #1 to try to come up and give up significant draft capital to take the spot. But Presti and Stone are no chumps. Hammond was definitely the sucker in that three way poker game. Because the Orlando brass didn't have a strong feel one way or another on who they wanted, they kept the trade option open until they couldn't anymore, and they had to simply pick based on their board which evidently must have been neck-and-neck, but with Paolo by a nose. They weren't going to make a pick to harm their franchise just to see if they could trade the pick ex post facto. So when they were all out of options, the dust settled and their bluff was exposed: they had to take the guy who they'd deflected the entire way, being probably the first team in NBA history with the #1 overall pick to not even bring their eventual pick into the building before the draft.

    3. It's impossible to gauge OKC's thinking based on the rumors circulating pre-draft which are almost certainly fabrications given Presti's tight-lipped history. All we know is that they preferred Chet over Jabari. My assumption, purely at looking at their current roster and guys that you would presumably circle as centerpieces (Giddey and, to a lesser extent, SGA), is that they would have preferred Chet over Paolo as well. There really wasn't much of a ballhandling need on a team that was building around that backcourt. In hindsight, they even went after other ballhandlers like Dieng and Jalen Williams, so Banchero definitely would not have been a fit. Plus, OKC in their entire Presti history has had a "type": long armed athletic freaks who maybe need to work on their shooting. So that just screamed a draft board of 1. Chet 2. Jabari 3. Paolo.

    4. The Rockets were the one team that pretty much telegraphed their preference for Paolo. Does it mean that their actual draft board had Paolo first? Absolutely not. Like the Cavs picking at #3 last year, they knew they could do no wrong and would be blameless so long as they stayed at that pick. By courting Paolo publicly, they were in a win-win situation: if they got Paolo, then they pretty much got a player who was hoping to fall to them; if someone else took Paolo, then welp, them's the breaks, you can only pick a player if he's available there. My personal hunch about the Rockets' draft board? 1. Chet 2. Jabari 3. Paolo, because OKC probably had it that way, and great minds think alike.

    My personal board was Jabari 1, Chet 2, Paolo 3, based exclusively on the eye test. Chet has the highest ceiling, the most unicorn-level NBA comps (KG's defense but taller? Dirk's range but with defense? certainly not KD), and pretty much an escape valve where if he's absolute trash this year then you're right in the running again in 2023 for Wemby. But Jabari is what you would envision if you were trying to create the ideal modern player in today's positionless game. Close your eyes, and imagine Jabari gaining muscle to the point of being the next Giannis. Except he can shoot. Now do the same with Chet. It's impossible. More likely you're having a nightmare about him writhing on the ground with any number of a possibility of gruesome injuries. No one is hoping for it, but man is his body scary. I already got enough PTSD from the Yao era. I don't need two of those in one lifetime.
     
  15. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    I think it was about as evenly split as you could make it among the top 3. There does not seem to be many drafts like that.

    Months ago I wanted Jabari. There are so many things to like about the guy and how he fits in with players Green/Sengun. Along with the fact that Houston still has a ton of assets to add at least 3 high profile players over the next 4 years.

    Finding said players that fit with Green/Sengun/Jabari seems a lot easier to put a puzzle together than Green/Sengun/Paolo.
     
  16. CXbby

    CXbby Member

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    The Rockets are one of the original stewards of the analytics movement in the NBA, and by all accounts they have only doubled down on that in the years since. Last year, the analytics pick was Mobley, and indeed before the draft it was leaked that he was the one the analytics department of the Rockets preferred. For whatever reason, whether it was ownership stepping in or what, we chose Green, which went against the Rockets’ MO. We did make up for that by paying a high price to trade up for the MOST analytics darling in the draft - Sengun, so the Green pick was not an indication that the front office was changing course from it’s history.

    Fast forward to this year, the analytics ranking of the top 3 would be 1. Chet 2. Jabari 3. Paolo. Paolo would be the “Jalen Green” pick, so it’s certainly possible we had him at #1 since that was the type of pick we made last year. However, if Green was just an one off anomaly, and that we are back to our analytics roots, we probably had Chet as our #1, which fits Stone’s “swinging for the fences” comment the most. On the other hand, it is conceivable that Chet’s weirdness and lack of a nba comp, combined with Jabari’s 1 whole year age advantage, in addition to Jabari’s superior fit next to Sengun(this shouldn’t matter as much), ultimately bumped him up to #1 on the Rockets board.
     
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  17. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    It's interesting that in this case, picking #3 actually has advantage over picking #1. They have to show their hand first. As long as you keep saying you are fine with whatever is there, they can't make you look bad or force you to do anything.
     
  18. TheJuice

    TheJuice Member

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    I think I've heard this about picking #2 in the NBA usually being the worst pick to have in most years. Usually there's a consensus number one pick and then a bunch of guys in close contention from picks 2-5 (or even 2-10 in some years).
     
  19. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    Yeah, This year is unusual. Three prospects are almost equally rated. There's no consensus in #1 - #3.
     

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