When the most exciting thing you can say about your draft night is that the greatest player in franchise history was there to wish the commissioner well in his retirement and your current best player got embroiled in a VERY minor Twitter controversy, it must have been a slow night. Rockets GM Daryl Morey even went so far as to call it "boring," but he was only describing the fact that the team didn't make any moves, not the drafting of Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, a point guard scoring machine, in the second round.
Indeed, for Morey, who tends to make deals on draft night like it is the last time deals will ever be allowed to be made in the history of time, was remarkably silent Thursday night. This despite the fact the team is likely to trade Thomas Robinson to clear cap space for a run at Dwight Howard. Rumors were swirling the team had a pair of deals to move up into the middle of the first round, but Morey passed, either opting for better options or waiting to see what Howard does, no one is quite sure.
For now, their draft night landed them a fine young senior point guard in Canaan. The Mississippi native was a beast of a shooter going better than 40 percent from the three point line for his college career and averaging almost 22 points per game his senior season. He is also an agressive defender and stellar athlete with serious hops. For Rockets fans, he is built a bit like former Rocket Kyle Lowry, but he is clearly a better shooter than the guard Chinese Rockets fans nicknamed Little Tank.
Canaan will start his career as the third point guard behind Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley. He will probably spend a lot of time in the D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers where he will get a chance to develop.
The rest of the draft night for the Rockets in terms of the actual draft was pretty mundane, but highlighted by a couple interesting moments. Right after David Stern made his final draft pick before retiring, Rocket legend and Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon walked on stage in a suit very similar to the one he wore 30 years ago, the night he was drafted No. 1 by the Rockets. He said a few nice words about Stern and waved to fans looking like he could put on a uni tomorrow and still school half the centers in the league. It was a nice moment for the league and our hometown team.
Our current star, James Harden, found himself in a bit of a Twitter controversy. Chris Vernon, a sports talk host from Memphis, tweeted this (now deleted) alleged re-tweet from Harden:
now deleted, but was hilarious... RT @JHarden13 Steven Adams loooooooooooooooool
This was supposedly in reference to Harden's former team the Oklahoma City Thunder taking the Pittsburgh big man with the 10th pick in the draft. Harden quickly denied he tweeted anything:
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I don't know what's going on but I haven't been on twitter.
— James Harden (@JHarden13) June 28, 2013
My guess is Vernon was making a joke -- and not a particularly funny one -- but it is hard to tell given that the evidence is gone.
Frankly, it was the biggest excitement of the night, no offense to Canaan. But, it could have been worse. They could have ended up with Steven Adams.