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Eight is Enough: Rockets Logjam at Power Forward Dissected

Rockets power forwards meets 1970s TV dramedy!
Rockets power forwards meets 1970s TV dramedy!

As the Rockets head into summer league play with their ultra-young roster, a question has arisen among fans: what exactly are they going to do with eight power forwards? It's a valid question. They currently have eight guys who play the position -- some can split time at other spots, but more on that in a minute -- and the vast majority are very young.

With a 15-man roster, obviously the Rockets cannot keep this many players at a single position. Daryl Morey has said that they don't think about the makeup of their roster in July, but I certainly can. Here's a breakdown of who they have and where they fit in, if at all.

Luis Scola

Let's start with last year's starter and this year's presumed starter, Luis Scola. Since he was acquired from the San Antonio Spurs for a sack of magic beans and fairy dust, Scola has been a hard worker and consistent offensive threat. He's a good rebounder despite his lack of athleticism and he's a team first guy who is great in the locker room. He's also one of the few commodities the team has and could be valuable to a team looking for veteran help at the position. And given the Rockets' obvious youth movement, I'd be surprised if that doesn't happen.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 20 percent

Patrick Patterson

Patterson has been the second best power forward on the roster since he was drafted two years ago. He had a bit of a downturn last season after a bright rookie campaign, but he also had some injury issues that held him back. Patterson is, like quite a few of the guys at this position, undersized. Morey seems to have a fetish for power forwards who are under 6'9". There has been talk Patterson could be a piece in a trade and he could yet be.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 60 percent

Marcus Morris

The Rockets' first round draft pick last year spent the vast majority of the season in the developmental league, so that should tell you a lot. Like Patterson, he is undersized and the Rockets tried to use some of his athleticism to convert him to a small forward to no avail. Still, he has some upside and he'll get plenty of time to prove himself this year.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 75 percent

Dontas Montejunas

The Rockets picked up "Monte" in a trade with Minnesota last year after he was drafted by them in the first round. He spent last season in Europe and has used the time to get substantially stronger. Despite the European label, Montejunas is a fiery guy with a lot of swagger and some serious skills to back it up. He's even been compared to Dirk Nowitzki, though that is a stretch. He has a chance to be one of the more intriguing young players on this roster.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 100 percent  

Royce White

When the Rockets drafted White in the first round this year, they and virtually everyone else referred to him as "unique." It's hard to argue. Not only is White an insanely gifted athlete with the body of a bulky, if shorter than ideal, power forward, but he has the skills of a point guard. He was probably the best athlete in the entire 2012 draft and it will be up to the Rockets to figure out how to use him; that is assuming he can keep his much chronicled anxiety disorder in check.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 100 percent

Terrence Jones

Jones was another solid pick by the Rockets this year, but with the disappointment over not being able to trade up into the top 10, his name has been a bit lost in the discussion. Jones has talent and length and as close to legit size for the position as you can get on this team. Like Morris, he'll need to develop a game that allows him to fit in on this squad. My guess is he spends quite a bit of time in the d-league this season, which isn't a bad thing.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 100 percent

Jon Leuer

Leuer came over the Samuel Dalembert trade with Milwaukee. He's entering his second season after a promising start with the Bucks during the lockout shortened season last year. He has legit size and some interior game, but he will be hard pressed to clear a spot for himself at this crowded position. His small salary makes him a candidate for getting cut before the season unless he shows something in summer league and training camp.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 30 percent

Jon Brockman

Aside from being the other guy in the trade from Milwaukee to spell his name like Jon Bon Jovi, Brockman appears to be a journeyman -- albeit a young one -- undersized (what a surprise) power forward who will have a tough time making the roster. Most likely, he'll make a training camp body and that will be about it.

Percentage Chance He Will Be on the Roster: 10 percent

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