The Houston Rockets selected Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan with the No. 33 pick in this year's NBA Draft on Thursday night. An explosive scorer at the college level, the 22-year-old's game is all about getting buckets.
Some saw Canaan as a first-round pick, but the majority of those scouting the Racers star saw him as a second-rounder, where guys who put up gaudy numbers at smaller schools tend to fall. He's the Rockets' first selection of the evening, as the team dealt away their first-round pick.
He may not be Damian Lillard, but Canaan could be the next high-scoring point guard from a mid-level college program to find his place in the NBA. Asked to be the focal point of Murray State's offense throughout his senior season, Canaan came through with solid numbers despite eschewing his point-guard duties at times.
One of the nation's top scorers, he averaged 21.8 points per game on 43 percent during last season as the focal point of the offense. He turned the ball over nearly as often as he recorded an assist (4.3 assists, 3.2 turnovers per contest), leading to concerns that he'll simply be an undersized bench scorer at the next level. If anything helps him, it's his shooting ability, as he took over eight three-pointers per game last season and knocked down 37 percent of them.
It's tough to see Canaan fitting in on the Rockets, considering they already have a pair of high-volume scoring guards in James Harden and Jeremy Lin. But as they try to save cap space to acquire Dwight Howard, a non-guaranteed contract like Canaan is more valuable than some of the players on the Rockets now.