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Draft Day Trade Could Be Rush Order
Buzz surrounding Rockets still continues to be that team is trying to move up
THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008   11:03 AM CST
By Clutch
Copyright 2008
Draft Day Trade Could Be Rush Order
We are officially one week away from the NBA Draft and while rumors have been a lot more hushed this year than years past, here's what's come down the pipe our way.

The consistent talk for weeks now has been that the Rockets, holding pick #25, are trying to move up in the draft. We've heard about talks to try to move "4-5 spots" up as well as rumors of discussions with two different teams to get into the top 15.

Not even the slightest of clues has been given as to what it would take from the Rockets to move up. Luther Head? Aaron Brooks? Cash? That's guesswork.

The trade target? The Rockets tried to move up to get a Brandon two years ago and could be trying to do the same this year. Multiple sources tell ClutchFans that Kansas guard/forward Brandon Rush has the Rockets gushing. Like Carl Landry before him, the 6-foot-7 Rush is one year removed from ACL surgery, but it's being said that the Rockets see both his shooting and defense as better than originally advertised.

Rush averaged over 13 points a night for the NCAA Champion Jayhawks, hitting nearly 42% from long range. His stock is reportedly going up, but he's been projected anywhere from 13 to 20 -- which might explain why the Rockets are rumored to be trying to trade into that same broad range.

Another player we have heard good things about from a Rockets trade-up perspective is UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, though Westbrook is starting to look more like a lottery lock.

While the Rockets have said publically they are looking for scorers, privately we hear that size at the 1/2 and the 2/3 positions is a pressing need. Both Westbrook and Rush could help here.

Speaking of high praise on a prospect, watch out for Alabama power forward Richard Hendrix, who could be this year's Landry. Hendrix measured out somewhat undersized (6-7), but has a tremendous 7-3 wingspan. We're told he had a great workout here in Houston. Armed with that information, it was no surprise to us later when it was made known that Hendrix opted to stay in the draft and hire an agent. He likely has a good indication that he's going to go first round.

Australian big man Nathan Jawai has drawn moderate praise. Memphis swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts was a player we heard a lot of positive things about from a Rockets perspective a month or two ago, but opinions are said to be mixed now among Houston decision makers.