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2012 NBA Draft Grades: Terrence Jones to Houston Rockets at No. 18

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Houston Rockets| Last Season: 34-20 | Draft Picks: 12, 16, 18

Season Summary: The Rockets fell two games short of the playoffs during the 2011-12 season and this is beginning to become a frustrating trend considering this marks their third-straight year with a winning record without a playoff appearance.

Draft Needs: The recent trade of Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves makes it seem like Houston will be going for a big man in the first round—especially with two picks. A small forward that could make an immediate impact playing alongside Luis Scola may be just what this team needs.

#18 Pick: Terrence Jones | PF | Kentucky

At 6-foot-8 and 244 pounds with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jones has the build, talent, and potential to be a major contributor at the next level. Jones can score inside and outside, plus he’s a solid rebounder. His defensive abilities were often overlooked, because much of the attention went to Anthony Davis.  Jones finished second on his team and in the SEC with an average of 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals.

2012-2013 Outlook: With the pace this team has been going over the last three years, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Rockets finally got over the hump next season and reached the playoffs as a lower seed. This team may be lacking a big superstar name, but there are plenty of talented low-key players that could certainly help this team reach the playoffs.

Check out all of Rant Sports 2012 NBA Draft Grades from the 1st Round.

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