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NBA Mock Draft 2011: Rockets Make Off With Pair Of Lithuanians In Ford's Latest

ESPN.com's Chad Ford released his sixth mock draft yesterday, and due to buyout issues and a crippling dependence on making me spell eastern European names, he handed the Rockets both Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas. Here's his breakdown of the two picks:

Pick 14: Jonas Valanciunas

Position: C
Height: 7-0
Weight: 245
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania

Analysis: Could the Rockets really score Valanciunas this low in the draft? Maybe. If Valanciunas isn't able to come to the NBA, a number of teams will feel pressure to draft players who can help right away. There's a chance the Bobcats, Bucks or Warriors will take him. But it's just a chance. However, I doubt Valanciunas will slide any farther than this. The Rockets really need a center, and Valanciunas, in the long run, is worthy of a lottery pick. Nikola Vucevic also is a real possibility here.

Pick 23: Donatas Motiejunas

Position: PF
Height: 7-0
Weight: 220
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania

Analysis: Would the Rockets really take two Lithuanians? Sure they would. Both players are vastly underrated where the Rockets are getting them, and the Rockets have always been the sort of team that takes advantage of a bargain when it sees one.

No word on if the Rockets will take a look at making their logo look more like the Lithuanian flag, but I'm sure it would be a strong possibility in this scenario . Houston would also pick up Michigan guard Darius Morris in the second round, another steal if you believe the projections. So maybe they don't need to trade up after all?

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.