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June 18, 2024 10 mins
Ben DuBose, editor of The Rockets Wire, joins Next Up to preview the NBA Draft which starts on Wednesday, June 26. The Rockets hold the No. 3 overall pick and even though "they'll look at trades," DuBose says the Rockets will most likely take the "best player available" in the draft. Many mock drafts have the Rockets taking Reed Sheppard, a guard from the University of Kentucky, at No. 3, but DuBose "wouldn't rule out" Donovan Clingan, a center from UConn, or either one of the Frenchman in Alexandre Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher if they're still on the board.
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Episode Transcript

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(00:00):
We know a couple of things abouttitles around here over there at the Toyota
Center, if you will, let'sgo, well, let's talk some rockets
with a man that's an analyst forus here at seven ninety. You see
and read his work on USA dotUSA Today. Excuse Me's rockets? Why
Ben do Bo's being? Good morningtill you brother? How you feel on
Tuesday? Oh? Doing pretty good, especially since Dallas will not be equaling

(00:21):
the rockets and championships. I knowthat means a lot to a lot of
people. I actually picked Dallas insix. What were you going into game
one? What was your finals prediction? I had Celtics and six. I
just think it's funny to see allthe ema Udoka talk on social media,
and I get it, the jokessort of write themselves on this, But

(00:45):
the Celtics were going to win achampionship at some point, I mean,
to win sixty four or sixty fivegames, whatever it was. And then
modern NBA with all the parody thatwe talked about, it's just crazy how
good they were. They've been goodfor basically five plus years. The entirety
of the Chason Tatum Jalen Brown era, so it felt inevitable that at some
point this group was going to geta championship. It was just a matter

(01:07):
of when rather than the if.So when they got to the finals with
a mostly healthy roster, I gota little bit nervous when Perzingis left after
Game two, But when they gotto the finals with a healthy roster,
it just felt like it was theirtime. They're the best team in the
league, and on the balance,they've been the best team in the league
for the last five six years.I've opened up the show, not sure
if you heard it. Just ona humanistic level, this has to this.

(01:32):
The game last night, the outcome, the fact that the Celtics do
now have title eighteen. That's gottado something to the competitive fervor for em
Udoka. I think the Rockets canbenefit indirectly from Udoka's connection to the Celtics.
And I don't know that he's changinghis philosophies because it is, but

(01:52):
I do think it's something to likeI say, ad fuel to the fire,
you put any stock into that,Yeah, I do. I think
he's someone that's competitive the same waythat players are, and so even if
it's lighthearted, Look, they're notimmune to the criticism, the noise.
They know what's out there. Soyeah, the fact that the team he

(02:13):
coached is going down this victory lopwhen he's not there and he's about of
some jokes on social media. Yeah, I'm sure that puts a little bit
more, you know, fuel tohis fire to want to do the same
thing in Houston. Doing it nextyear might be a little premature, but
I do think that, you know, it's going to keep him motivated to
make sure that he gets there downthe road as well. Ben Doubo's Rockets

(02:34):
analysts for US here at seven toninety, joining us here on next up,
stan Fleet, Gordi along here injust a little bit, all right,
I want to continue talking, justsome parallels, a lot of conversation.
Can Jalen Green, Appren Shan Gun? Can they play together? What's
our man Thompson's role going to be? I am fascinated with the additions that
Brad Stevens made to the core ofTatum and Brown. Could they play together?

(02:59):
Could they not? I also thinkit is unique in something the Rockets
can parse a little bit from theCeltics did this without a first team all
NBA Probably not what the Rockets aregoing to be in the next couple seasons.
How are we going to do this? What does the future and be

(03:19):
putting themselves in position to contend fora Western Conference isle and getting into the
finals for the Rockets, what doesthat look like? Stylistic? Yeah,
that's a really good point. That'sa really good point about the entirety of
the Celtics team and the fact thatwhile Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown are good
players, they're certainly not top three, top five transcended. Because I do
think there's some parallels there with theRockets in that through this rebuild, and

(03:44):
it's not to say that one oftheir young stars can't eventually turn into,
you know, a Yiannis type player, but the odds are definitely against it.
The Rockets did not come out witha Wembye a freak prospect, and
so I think seeing a team likethe Celtics that has a lot of good
play, a lot of very goodplayers, not necessarily any transcendent ones.
I think that's sort of an optimisticnote for a team like Houston that you

(04:09):
know, has a lot of verygood prospects, but you don't have that
whimby you don't have that Lebron esqueprospect that you feel like, Okay,
this is somebody who's going to beclearly top three, top five in the
league for a very long time.Because I think what the Celtics showed us
is that even if you don't havea guy at the level of you know,
Jannis Embiid, Jokich, Luca,then you can still work. I

(04:33):
mean the regular season stuff translated.We talked about that, you know,
they won sixty four games, andthat ultimately translated to the playoffs, which
it should sport with the longest postseasonsample the way the NBA does. But
also just the fact that you know, that's no disrespect meant for Jason Tatum
or Jaylen Brown, but the factthat you can be that good, including

(04:54):
in the playoffs, even if youdon't have that just transcendent type of player,
then yeah, that's a really optimisticnope for a team like the Rockets,
because you can make all Star casesfor guys like all prim should do
for Jalen Green, for some ofthe younger guys for sure. And it's
not to say that they can't betrue top the line, that the odds
are against it, and so Ithink what Boston did and the way Brad

(05:15):
Steve has put that team together.It shows you that the pieces fit well
together and the moves they did bringingin guys like Drew Holliday Chris Perzingis to
pair with Jalen and Tatum, youcan be the best team in the league.
You can be really good even ifyou don't have that top three,
top five type player. And sothat gives you just a lot more options
if you're building out a championship teamthan the formula. You know, it

(05:38):
felt like ten years ago when itwas like, oh, you've got to
have step Curry, kd Lebron whateverit may be. This is a much
more It's a model that can bereplicated a lot easier for a team like
the Rockets. Talk for Bandu Bo'sRocket Analysts for us here at seven ninety.
You also hear his pod the Logand Line and contributes to Locked on
Rockets occasionally as well. Appreciate beingdropping by talking some Rockets ball as we

(06:02):
put the rap on the Rockets.Excuse me on the NBA season for twenty
three twenty four, Celtics winning thetitle and what that means for the Rockets
moving forward, let's do that.A week from tomorrow, we're gonna have
Round one of the NBA Draft.We'll be over at George R. Brown.
I imagine you'll be around as well. If Gordy and I got into

(06:23):
it yesterday on the show, meaningthe conversation, I'm okay with Reed Shepherd
as a guy that can be aSam Hauser. I'm cheering for Houses because
he's a uva guy coming off thebench knocking down some shots for the Celtics.
If that's what Reed Shepherd is shootingforty two, forty five and plus
percent for the Rockets. If he'sselection, what are you hearing? What

(06:45):
is the latest about what they willdo at three? And is Reed Shepherd
still in contention for that spot?Yeah, he's definitely in contention. The
big question with Reid is how youreconcile the incredible dumpers, the efficiency shooting
about fifty percent from three small samplebecause he did it just one year off
the bench at Kentucky, so itwasn't in a starters role. It's just

(07:05):
one year. He's also very smallfor a guy that would go at number
three in the draft, So that'sjust how much do you trust the raw
numbers, the analytics versus you know, the context that it's one year,
small sample, YadA, YadA.But he's in contention, and one thing
that sort of boosts his case inmy opinion, a lot of people that's
compared him to a guy like Fredvan Vleet, who is on the Rockets

(07:28):
roster right now, obviously the highestpaid player in that you know, elite
shooter, but a little undersize needsto develop as a point guard to you
know, bring other things to thetable besides shooting. So who better for
Reed to learn from with his current, you know, skill set than fredman
Vleet, a guy who went throughmany of those same challenges and that same
developmental curve the last few years.So I think he's definitely in play.

(07:53):
I think that the main lesson forthe Rockets and what rafel Stone is thinking
over the next week. Now certainlythey'll look at trades and who knows,
now that the regular season, wellnow the postseason is over, then maybe
unexpectedly you hear one of the bignames asking out, but I doubt it.
I mean it's possible because the finalsjust ended, so if somebody's going
to try to make a move toleverage out and you know the Rockets will

(08:15):
do their due diligence. You know, we can hear about it the next
couple of days. The NBA doesn'twant to to happen during the finals,
but I think that's an unlikely scenario, and it doesn't seem like there's that
much interest in trading a ton tomove up because it's not a great draft
class. It's not perceived to be, at least, so at the Rockets
stay put. I think they've gotto take best player available, because what
you need to keep in mind isthat as guys go into their second contracts

(08:37):
by twenty twenty five, whether whetherit's this offseason or next, by a
year from now, Jalen Green andall Perain should go, and assuming they're
still here, they're going to bea much more expensive deals. Jafari Smith's,
Harry Eastman the year after that,and then Thompson camp wit More the
year after that. So as thisteam gets more expensive, you're going to
have to make some more business ofbasketball decisions. And so with that in
mind, with an assets high numberthree overall hit me just about to fit

(09:01):
now, I think you take bestplayer available, and even if there's an
overlap with a guy in your coursesix. Okay, well, things may
change as the team gets more expensive, and I have to make you some
more cutthroat decisions when it comes tohow these guys fit, what the price
tag is when they're not on theiryou know, rookie deals that are very
cheap in the grand scheme. SoI think they're going to go best player
available that could be read Shepherd,but I wouldn't rule out a Donovan Klingon

(09:26):
or who am forgetting, oh StefanCastle, or even one of the two
French guys if they unexpectedly fall fromthe first two picks. We will be
monitoring what you have to say asit pertains to the Rockets and what they'll
do. A week from tonight firstround NBA Draft Round two will come up
on Thursday. Appreciate you dropping byas always. That is being Dubos of

(09:48):
the Rockets Why courtesy of USA Today. He's also an analyst for US here
at seven ninety also the log andLine Pod, as well as Locked on
Rockets. Man, We appreciate it, bro. We's our team. Sounds
good. Thanks for having us allright, man, he tell you
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