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#18 Houston Rockets: Sam Dekker

With the 18th pick, the Rockets selected Sam Dekker.

Jesse Blancarte profile picture
Updated 10 months ago on
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With the 18th pick, the Rockets selected Sam Dekker out of Wisconsin.

The Houston Rockets won 56 games last season and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in five games. The Rockets have a strong roster, but entered the draft needing some help at the point guard position. Instead of picking a lead guard,, however, the Rockets went ahead with Dekker, who is a versatile forward who could develop into a nice role player for Houston.

Last season, Dekker averaged 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond-the-arc. He is a talented scorer and has a good feel for the game. He is an efficient scorer and knows how to play off the ball, making smart and timely cuts to the basket. He is also talented in the open court, though he didn’t get to show off that part of his game much since Wisconsin generally plays at a slow place. Dekker is also a willing rebounder, often crashing the offensive glass.

Dekker has nice size for his position, standing 6’9 and weighing in at roughly 230 pounds. He brings versatility on the defensive end as well, as he is capable of guarding wings and bigger players. Dekker doesn’t excel at any one thing, but he is good in several aspects of the game and he is also a fiery competitor.

The Rockets must be very high on Dekker’s potential to contribute early on considering they passed on point guard Jerian Grant, who could have helped shore up Houston’s backcourt. Dekker will likely slot in behind Trevor Ariza at small forward, and will likely compete with Kostas Papanikolaou for time at backup power forward.



Jesse Blancarte is a Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders. He is also an Attorney and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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