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Rockets draft Louisville big man Chinanu Onuaku

Houston Rockets

Rockets draft Louisville big man Chinanu Onuaku

The Louisville center is thrilled to be coming to Houston.

Chinanu Onuaku

The Rockets talked about making trades in this Draft, but they did not happen.

Instead, the Rockets stayed pat in the second round, taking Louisville big man Chinanu Onuaku with the 37th overall selection. This is the second straight season that the Rockets have taken a Louisville big in the second round after selecting Montrezl Harrell last season.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Onuaku after being drafted by the Rockets. “It was unbelievable. I’ve been working for this all my life. Just to finally hear my name called… I didn’t know what to do. I just praised God and I cried.”

I like this pick. Onuaku is just 19 years old, standing 6-foot-10 with a nearly 7-foot-3 wingspan and coming in at 245 pounds. Hes got good potential as an interior defender, averaging 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in just 24.6 minutes as a sophomore. The Rockets will need some help inside with only Clint Capela currently under contract at the five.

In talking with Rockets staff at Toyota Center, they love how he boxes out and carves out space. He’s a good rebounder — strong and not easily moved.

The newest Rocket considers himself “coachable” and loves the idea of coming to Houston.

“I know they’re a playoff team,” said Onuaku of the Rockets. “I know that Dwight Howard just opted out so I have a chance to take that position. I know they have James Harden. I’m coming into a great situation.”

He was direct and to the point when asked about his strengths.

“Right now, I’m more of a defensive player,” said Onuaku. “Post defense, pick-and-roll defense, blocking shots and offensive and defensive rebounding.”

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