The Houston Rockets team at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League has the best group of rookies we’ve seen on one team in some time. The Rockets can field an entire team of rookies with Scott Machado at the point, Jeremy Lamb at shooting guard, Royce White at small forward, Terrence Jones at power forward and Donatas Motiejunas at center.
Their draft picks from the 2012 NBA Draft all look like they will have excellent NBA careers. Jones, listed at 6’9 and 252 pounds, has a solid body, athleticism, ball skills and seems to be the perfect power forward. He’s averaging 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds and has been very consistent throughout the Rockets five games. He’s shot over 50% and got to the foul line five times per game. He should be a starter from day one.
Lamb, the 6’5 guard from Connecticut, is another player who looks like he can step right in. He’s very long, athletic and plays very well in transition. Lamb has led the Rockets in scoring at 20 points per game and appears to be the scorer the Rockets need.
White, listed at 6’8/260, has had some trouble finishing inside against bigger defenders. However, he does bring an array of skills to Houston. White is soft on his feet for his size, can lead the break, beat defenders off the dribble and is a great passer. He dished out eight assists in one game, grabbed 12 rebounds in another and scored 15 in yesterday’s win over Chicago. White will be fun to watch when he takes the floor for Houston this season.
Machado was surprisingly not drafted as most mock drafts had him listed in the late first round to the mid-second round. There may have been some issues in his interviews and personality that kept him off the draft board. However, based on his performance this week it’s apparent that Machado can play successfully in the league. In yesterday’s game his line was 20 points, six assists and four steals. He’s a great passer and brought the fans to their feet with several passes in transition.
Motiejunas, the 7’0 Lithuanian, is another player who will be on the floor for Houston a lot this year. He averaged 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in four games before Houston sat him down yesterday. He’s shot over 60%, can step out for three’s and is extremely versatile for a player of his size.
The Rockets seem to be on their way to rebuilding their franchise. It might take awhile but they are definitely going in the right direction.