Texas forward Tristan Thompson is probably the closest thing in the 2011 NBA Draft to a hometown pick that the Rockets could make. Oh sure, Jordan Hamilton is up there, but he's not really a lottery lock like Thompson appears to be. The 6-foot-8 forward was asked about the possibility of playing in Houston by The Dream Shake's Tom Martin, and he responded in the affirmative:
"I would love to play for Houston. Being in Texas, you know? The organization is on the rise. They just hired coach Kevin McHale. He's from a winning tradition. I feel that if I had the opportunity to play for them it would be exciting."
Somehow, I have a feeling that Thompson won't be the last player to cite McHale as a positive reason to go to Houston.
It seems increasingly likely that Thompson will be gone by the time the Rockets pick, but projection systems love him and if these new Jonas Valanciunas rumors that have him going to the Cavs are true, he could be the closest thing to a big man the Rockets find in this draft.
Could he be another possibility in the Rockets trade up plans? Hard to say, but there'd be a lot of support for the pick around here.