The NBA Draft is one day away, and the Houston Rockets are set to make their selection with the 46th pick of the second round on Thursday, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
While Houston will surely miss out on the chance to draft DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, and Trae Young, the Rockets will still have a chance to draft one of the most gifted players coming out of the draft.
Say what you want about his obnoxious father, but the Rockets should take a serious look at selecting LiAngelo Ball with their pick. Giving the year he had in what could have been his freshman year at UCLA, selecting Ball in the second round is a low risk yet high award opportunity for the Rockets.
Despite leaving college early after his infamous shoplifting scandal, his talents as a basketball player should not go overlooked. Many have already projected that he will go undrafted and will have to work his way on to an NBA team in the summer. But Ball has the potential to become the biggest steal in this year’s draft.
Appearing in 14 games playing for the Vytautas Prienu of the Lithuanian league, Ball showcased his potential in the Euro League averaging 12.6 points, on 41.5 percent shooting from the field. His most memorable game as a member of the Prienu came on March 25, when Ball scored a career-high 28 points while knocking down six three-pointers in a loss to the Nevezis Kedainiai.
Even though they have created the NBA’s most memorial offense, the Rockets can always use more shooters to upgrade their team. And Ball is one of the top three shooters coming out of this year’s draft. Playing alongside James Harden, Chris Paul, and even Eric Gordon, Ball can play off the ball while giving the Rockets an additional three-point shooting threat who can space the floor.
At 6’5 and 251 pounds, he has the size develop into a solid defender on the perimeter in a system ran by Jeff Bzdelik.