Realistic Expectations for Sam Dekker’s Rookie Season with a Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets drafted Sam Dekker with their first-round collect in a somewhat—but not entirely—surprising selection. The Wisconsin tiny brazen fell in a draft, and a Rockets were happy to brush him up. What can Rockets fans design from their newest rookie?

Houston was approaching to take a indicate guard, and Jerian Grant out of Notre Dame would have been a good fit alongside James Harden. But a Rockets went with a “best actor available” philosophy, and Dekker was arguably that.


Who Is Sam Dekker?

Dekker totalled 6’7 ¾” during a mix yet boots and 6’9” with them. He’s a stout 219 pounds with 7.5 percent physique fat, per He has a straight of 34 ½ inches and ran a lively exam in 10.64 seconds. The usually drafted actor who flog Dekker in both categories was Devin Booker.

And while it’s easy to make infrequent comparisons to other white tiny forwards, trimming from Wally Szczerbiak to Chandler Parsons, Jonathan Wasserman suggested Jeff Green is a many appropriate:

And Layne Vashro has a handy-dandy apparatus during Nylon Calculus that uses both mix measurements and college stats to beget a likeness measure to other NBA players. According to that, a best comparison for Dekker is Tayshaun Prince.

Dekker’s scouting report from Jonathan Givony during is flattering loquacious of both his offense…

One of a many versatile and fit descent players in a college game, Dekker does a tiny bit of everything, even if he doesn’t truly surpass in any one area. He is good in transition, can conflict his male off a dribble, moves off a round intelligently, crashes a descent glass, and can make an open jumper, giving him many opposite ways he can minister to a NBA group early on in his career.

Dekker’s size, athleticism and flexibility shines by many vividly in a open floor, where he is really effective grabbing a miscarry and going seashore to seashore as a ball-handler. He didn’t get as many of a possibility to uncover this partial of his diversion during Wisconsin (one of a slowest paced teams in a NCAA) as he will in a some-more up-tempo settings of a NBA, yet he clearly can.

… And of his defense:

Defensively, Dekker is likewise versatile, being means of guarding bigger players with his size, strength and toughness, and smaller players interjection to his plain parallel speed and clever bid level. He should be means to switch seamlessly between sharpened guards, tiny forwards and energy forwards in collect and hurl situations, that is appealing in today’s NBA. He’s a form of actor who doesn’t behind down on this finish of a floor, as you’ll frequently see him holding charges and throwing his physique around, display a good rival streak.

In many ways, he fits in easily with a Rockets, who like to pull a round in transition on offense and switch some-more than many teams on defense. Based on his character of play, ability set and size, he’s really many a form of actor a Rockets like to add.


But Why a Small Forward?

Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

The some-more intriguing doubt than “Why Sam Dekker?” is “Why did a Rockets breeze a tiny brazen during all?” The Rockets have a many incomparable need during indicate guard. They have only one on a register who is underneath contract, and that’s a 37-year-old Pablo Prigioni.

Last year’s starter, Patrick Beverley, is a limited giveaway agent. And combo ensure Jason Terry has voiced that he would like to return, per a Houston Chronicle‘s Jenny Dial Creech. Retaining a standing quo, though, isn’t a good diversion devise for a Rockets, given that was their biggest debility final season.

Meanwhile, they competition a bolt of forwards. They have Trevor Ariza as a starting 3. Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas are approaching to contest for a starting 4.

Corey Brewer was a backup tiny brazen final year. He and energy brazen Josh Smith are giveaway agents, yet like Terry, they would like to return, per Dial Creech.

In addition, a Rockets have limited giveaway representative K.J. McDaniels, who plays both wing spots, and combo brazen Kostas Papanikolaou has a group choice on his contract.  And a Rockets’ second-round pick, Montrezl Harrell, is another forward.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Per Jonathan Feigen of a Houston Chronicle, ubiquitous manager Daryl Morey still intends to pierce behind all his forwards, observant that a team’s free-agency skeleton are “most expected unchanged.”  

Morey explained a logic for a selections: “We always go with who we consider is a best player. We took who we consider is a best actor during any (draft) spot. If Sam Dekker was gone, we consider ensure (sic) was a subsequent man on a board.

And this should not come as a shock. Morey has traditionally used a truth of best actor accessible and used giveaway group and trades to fill holes in a roster. He’s always been a forward-thinker, yet this year that’s taken on a opposite meaning.

The bottom line is that Dekker doesn’t seem to be a square to win now. Morey explained:

We have a really tough register to get mins on with a Rockets. we consider a normal developmental module final year had (Clint) Capela assisting us with mins during a finish of a year. we consider if we got Sam or Montrezl (Harrell) assisting us during a finish of a year, that will be fantastic.

Capela and Nick Johnson both spent a vast apportionment of final deteriorate in a D-League with a Rockets associate Rio Grande Valley Vipers. They use a growth event some-more than many teams, and to their credit, it seemed to work well. Capela was considerable in a postseason, recording a 21.8 actor potency rating, per

Feigen questioned Morey about a Rockets’ other skeleton this offseason:

Before then, a Rockets will pierce to giveaway agency. Morey described a devise to pointer his possess giveaway agents – Pat Beverley, Josh Smith, KJ McDaniels, Jason Terry and Corey Brewer – as “most likely” unchanged, yet he could flog a tires on many larger, roster-changing moves.

“I consider there’s probable opportunities we have to try that are bigger, yet we consider they’re unlikely,” Morey said. “It’s substantially expected we’ll stay over a tip and use a mid-level.”

It would appear, then, that a Rockets will accommodate a indicate ensure need by a mid-level exception, and increasingly it appears they will spend it on Sergio Llull, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops. And that would serve explain because a Rockets didn’t residence a need by a draft—they have a opposite devise of attack.

Realistically, Rockets fans should not be putting too many wish in Dekker being a actor who is going to put them over a tip this year. Houston didn’t select him with that in mind. It will rise him, as it has a other youngsters.

Best-case scenario, Dekker impresses with a Vipers, and that lands him some-more mins with a mothership after in a season. But, even if that doesn’t happen, Rockets fans need to remember that it’s not an comment of his value. This is only a approach Houston develops players.