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Looking at the younger talent on the roster

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sydeffect, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Sydeffect

    Sydeffect Member

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    With the contracts handed out to Beverly and Brewer (will probably also include KJ and Smoove), this is basically the roster that we will be stuck with next couple of years. Not to say thats a bad thing because we got very far despite missing 2 starters.

    But usually around this stage for contenders, championship windows are lengthened by the young players on the roster being able to step up big time.

    The young players on the roster:

    1. Donatas Motiejunas Age: 24 - He's probably the most likeliest young player that will help contribute for us for some time. He already has a great post game, he has a potential as a stretch 4 (37% 3pt shooting on 2 attempts per game), he's a good defender despite his lack of athleticism but has issues defending the PnR vs athletic combos.

    His most glaring issue is his poor rebounding and will be an issue with him going forward. Rebounding is one of the skills you can't teach. They either have it or don't.

    Next year is also the last year on his rookie contract.

    2. Terrence Jones Age: 23 - Sometimes he shows you that he has all the potential to be a star, but he will also suddenly disappear. He's a tremendous finisher around the rim and has fantastic handles for a big man. I doubt he will ever become a great shooter because his mechanics are not that great on his jump shot.

    His defense is just not consistent at all

    in the regular season, he allowed 45.9% at the rim (13th best in the league), but contested only 37.4% of shots.

    Rim FG% allowed was 61.7% in the playoffs which was the 6th worst in the playoffs. His shot contest % was only 23.8% which was 7th worst in the playoffs.

    3. Clint Capella Age: 21 - His upside is just enormous. On defense he has enough quickness to defend guards on the perimeter which he showed vs GSW. He has shown to be a very good rebounder and shot blocker, but needs to improve on his rotations which should come in time.

    Offensively he is a fantastic player in the PnR, but who knows how much he can legitimately add on this end. With Dwight getting older, I think he is perfect to help limit Dwight's MPG going forward.

    4. Nick Johnson Age: 22- He showed flashes of being a very very good defender last year. Nick is also a phenomenal athlete and will be a very good player in the open court. But he won't be able to get much minutes on this roster if he cannot improve his 3 pt ability.

    His scouting report in college does give some optimism that he will be able to improve on this end.
    5. KJ McDaniels Age: 22 - Assuming we resign him, he's going to be interesting going forward. He has elite physical gifts and showcased tons of shot blocking ability. He's 6'6 but has a 6'11 wingspan which will help him a ton on defense.

    Offensively he's very limited in what he can do. Like Johnson, he's an excellent open court player due to his athleticism. But again for him to get minutes, he needs to improve his 3 pt shooting. He shot 28.7% from 3 last season on 2.4 attempts per game.

    6. Sam Dekker Age: 21 - Nylon Calculus has a prospect comparison tool that a variety of stats to compare prospects.

    While flawed, the comparisons are pretty interesting. Dekker's top comparison using this metric is Tayshaun Prince. Like Prince, Dekker is pretty versatile on the defensive end. He has the ability to guard 2-3 spots which in our switching defense will be very very helpful.

    On offense he can score in a variety of ways. Chris Finch remarked that he and Parsons are somewhat similar on that end, but Dekker is more of a scorer whereas Parsons is the better playmaker. Interestingly enough Finch said that Dekker's shooting ability is ahead of where Parsons was when he entered the league.

    I really think he will be able to contribute right away just because of his versatility and high IQ.

    7. Montrazl Harrell Age: 21 Size wise, he's pretty undersized for a PF. He's listed at a probably generous 6'7 with shoes on. But he makes up for this by having an incredible 7'4 wingspan. Even though people consider him undersized, he doesn't get backed down by bigger plays while defending in the post. He also has the quickness to chase players around on the perimeter which again will help in our switching defense.

    Offensively his current role will be the garbage man and the fastbreak threat on this roster. I don't really know much about him so I can't comment with much certainty about his game. Draftexpress did mention that he has improved offensively throughout his college career.

    Until he can improve his jump shot, (feels like I've said this about all our prospects) I don't think he will be able to get much playing time. As of right now I see his role as a small ball 5, but I don't see why you wouldn't just put in Capella who has a similar offensive talent. I could be completely wrong about him, and hopefully I am.

    To summarize all this: IMO we have plenty of young talented players with tons of ability on the defensive end. The main worry is the lack of young offensive talent on the roster. Dmo seems to be the only younger player that can consistently score by themselves. I like our young talent as Role Players going forward. But we need some offensive talent going forward which will be harder and harder because we will have low picks going forward.

    Going forward we have all of our 1st round picks which will most likely be around 26 at best for the next couple of years. But we have traded away our 2016,2017 and 2019 2nd round picks away.

    We currently have the Knicks 2016 2nd round pick and the Blazers 2017 2nd round pick.

    How do you guys feel about the younger talent we have on this roster as of now and going forward? Are you confident in our ability to add better talent in the future when it's needed?
     
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  2. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    Great post ... One thing we have that other contenders don't is our mass of young talent . We don't have many blue-chip prospects but we have a lot of depth and at least half of those players will turn out to be solid role players. If they truly max out their potential a few of them could be psuedo-stars . I look forward to their development over the first half of this season . These players breaking out will make the difference between the rockets being a 2nd or 3rd round team to being 100% legitimate title contenders and considered one of the most talented teams in the league for years to come !
     
  3. DrNuegebauer

    DrNuegebauer Member

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    You forgot one guy

    8. Pablo Prigioni Age: 38

    I'll just quote draftexpress on this exciting up and comer
     
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  4. Sydeffect

    Sydeffect Member

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    I like our depth of young talent, but what worries me is the talent of our core players long term. Dwight is the biggest question mark. How long can he hold up? Defensively he hasn't been as dominant consistently as he has been in Orlando.

    But that could probably be because we don't have a strong secondary defensive rebounder on the roster. That Orlando Magic team was a fantastic defensive rebounding team which allowed Dwight to roam around on defense and focus more on shot blocking. If he does that here as much as he did back then, we would be killed on the glass because Dmo/Jones/Smoove are not strong rebounders.

    The only one on of the young talents I can see becoming close to a pseudo star is Clint Capella. His growth throughout the season was very impressive. Once you consider his physical gifts and amazing finishing ability, he will be a force to work with.
     
  5. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    I'm higher than most on DMO so I think he also has potential to be a starish caliber player . He is so skilled I can se him averaging 17/8/4 next season which is a legitimate 3rd player. I think with most of these players the fact that they are elite athletes makes their potential high . Montrezl, Johnson, and KJ all are top physical specimens and if not for holes in their skills could have been lottery picks .

    I too am worried about Dwight's health but with Capela and I think Montrezl available to back him up we can manage his minutes fairly well/ rest him games. I'm worried about putting too much of a burden on harden again . I think the key to next year is gonna be dmo . He can evolve into a second option on offense and if he does our entire season will take on a different look and harden and Howard will be able to relax a bit . Also having brewer here from the get go is quite nice. The improvement of nick and KJ also can play a big part in our success .

    Things look bad for the rockets if the previously mentioned talent doesn't step up and there is no guarantee it will . But I think the odds are in our favor and our player development has been historically solid .
     
  6. GMNot

    GMNot Member

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    Nice summary. But pseudo star is an oxymoron. Borderline star, may be better.

    Harrell fits the mold of Rockets big men with ~50% FT avg. Dekker is better at a shade below 70%. It seems in Morey's analytics that FT% is OK at 50% or better, although Dorsey was signed last summer and is below 50%. If so, I disagree with that viewpoint. We'll have to see how the "hack-a" rule might be altered for next season. (Maybe one strategy is to field 2-3 players who can be hacked to create an instant of confusion on the part of defenses. ;) )

    Nick Johnson should be working on jump shooting from everywhere -- not just 3 range. He has the potential to get playing time this season if he improves from his current 35/24 (FG/3-pt from basketballreference.com) percentages. to, say, 40/30. Ditto for McDaniels, if he signs.

    Any BB player should want to improve all their BB skills; should want to be the most complete player they can be, a la Jordan or James. fundamentals like footwork (on OFF and DEF) and shooting form are too often ignored in the face of raw athletic ability. If this was given more attention early in their careers they would come to the league much more ready to play and contribute. The D-League becomes a "catch-up" playground. Some good athletes bypass that and develop on the fly, if they're lucky.

    There's always the possibility, too, that a "sleeper" might emerge during summer league play. But so often, that is hard to sustain against regular roster players. Hard work gets McHale's attention, though, and usually pays off in real improvement.
     
  7. Mattician

    Mattician Member

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    James Harden is still young, too.
     
  8. ksny15

    ksny15 Member

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    Most importantly
     
  9. Space City

    Space City Member

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    Yeah, where is:

    James Harden Age: 25?
     
  10. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    Beverley*
    Capela*
     
  11. gfromda713

    gfromda713 Member

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    I forgot about that Portland 2nd round pick, that is looking much more attractive now
     
  12. dje243

    dje243 Member

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    I'm drinking the kool-aid. I believe that Capela will put on some mass and become a true force at the 5. I think he's our future at that position. I think DMO will take another step forward this year and produce at a borderline all star level IF he can stay healthy. KJ has massive potential if he can get his shooting figured out. I'm a huge homer.
     
  13. samtaylor

    samtaylor Member

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    Capela and DMo have very exciting potential. I believe Terrance Jones can't get much better than what he is now, so I wouldn't mind if we traded him away, especially if we keep Josh Smith.
     
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy 99ers STAND BY
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    It's incredibly rare for a conference finals team to have this much young talent on its roster but you never really hear about what we're doing in the media. I guess these guys need to prove something first.
     
    #14 Ziggy, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  15. Mattician

    Mattician Member

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    They showed something in the 3-1 comeback against the Clippers.

    This team needs to build on that.
     
  16. Space City

    Space City Member

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    I love DMo, but I can't see him averaging 17/8/4 next season. I would be impressed by 15/8/3, which would still be an improvement across the board.
     
  17. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    I'm scared of Dwight's health too but I'm also scared that we will wear Harden down if we ride him as hard as we did this past season. He has to work hard for every basket. At 24/25 that's not that big of a deal but at 28 that might be a real problem because frankly, he doesn't look like one of those athletic freaks built to withstand anything(Lebron). Oddly enough, Dwight WAS one of those players and he sure hasn't looked that way the last 3 years. The recurring knee swelling is not a good sign.
     
  18. OpenLayup-Why3?

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    So a 6'6 with 7'4 span. What?! Is that normal? Is he a monkey? Is that's why he doesn't own a human name?

    Guys who make big jumps are rare. Guys who make big jumps on a team that has Harden and Howard - practically one in a billion. If DMO played on a lottery team he could easily improve his stats to 20 whatever whatever, but he's a team player with defined role, with mega stars on the roster and he does not, will not, get an opportunity to go nuclear the way he could on 20 other teams in the NBA.
    One of the reasons why Houston will not get to keep him next year. He gonna get offered huge money next summer and Morey might go Parsons route of not matching. Even if he did, DMO might prefer same money with bigger role. I don't think bad taste from first two seasons in Houston was already washed out and it won't have any impact on the decision.
     
  19. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    This is spot on. Teams who play this much young talent almost never make it to the conference finals.
     
  20. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    If Dmo wins the PF battle outright and plays 36ish minutes a game I could see him hitting 18 or so points a night. The team started to figure out mid season that Dmo could be a reliable guy in the post and more importantly they got Dwight to buy into being the lob guy rather than the featured post guy. I think Houston will do more of that this year and I think TJones probably gets traded or rides the bench more this year. I can see a more concerted effort by Houston's staff to find other ways to score that don't involve so much Harden iso ball and Dmo will benefit from that being one of the better offensive options on this squad.
     

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