#12: Jeremy Lamb
With the 12th pick in the 2012 draft the Houston Rockets Select University of Connecticut shooting guard Jeremy Lamb.
The Rockets defied most predictions by selecting a scoring guard instead of going big. Houston has been searching for a center since Yao Ming retired, but instead of drafting Tyler Zeller or John Henson out of North Carolina, the Rockets selected what they believe is the best player on the board in Lamb.
“I can stretch the floor,” Lamb stated. “I can add scoring, and also on the defensive ends, on the rebound, get deflection and get the break; find a couple of guys that I can look up to; ask questions; learn from them. So being able to go to a good organization is huge.”
Lamb measured in at 6’5.25’’ and 179 pounds. Lamb is considered one of the top shooters in the draft and has often been compared to another UCONN alumni, Ray Allen. Last season Lamb averaged over 17 points per game on better than 47% shooting from the field and 81% shooting from the free throw line.
Lamb’s shooting will help open driving lanes for his teammates and he should be able to step in and contribute for the Rockets immediately. Lamb does need to bulk up though if he hopes to guard starting caliber shooting guards in the NBA. Lamb has a 6’11’’ wingspan and a 38’’ vertical leap, so he has the athleticism to be an elite defender, but he has to add muscle if he doesn’t want to be pushed around by the bigger shooting guards.
Picking Lamb also means it’s possible the Rockets are looking to move Kevin Martin. Lamb and Martin play the same position and it’s unlikely the Rockets would have traded up to the 12th pick for a player they were planning on bringing off the bench. Look for the Rockets to continue being very aggressive in their attempts to re-shape their roster.
“I am ready to go work hard,” Lamb concluded. “I’m not going to go and settle, I’m going to go there and be ready to work hard and do what it takes.”