Rockets, Spurs and Mavericks heading into draft with distinctively different approaches

Antonio Morales

The New Orleans Hornets are taking Kentucky forward. Anthony Davis, with the top overall pick, seems to be one of the few certainties heading into Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Another thing you can almost count on is that there will be a fair number of draft night moves that will reshape many rosters around the league.

Coming off their Western Conference Finals loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs don’t have many holes to fill. They will eventually need to find a forward for the post-Tim Duncan era, but that will be tough to do in this draft unless they trade into the first round. The Spurs only have the 59th pick to work with, while the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets may both be looking to move up in the draft order.

The Rockets dealt Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire their third first round pick of the 2012 draft. Houston also sent the 14th overall pick and Samuel Dalembert to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for the 12th pick and three players. Now holding the 12th, 16th and 18th picks, the Rockets seem to be setting themselves up to make a legitimate run at Orlando Magic’s all-star center, Dwight Howard.

If their run at Howard falls short, the Rockets could snag Connecticut center Andre Drummond as a consolation prize. They are reportedly in talks with the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors in an effort to move into the top-ten of the draft in order to make the Drummond selection.

The Mavericks hold the 17th pick and are also open to possibly trading up in the draft order. Given the depth of forwards in this year’s draft, they may not have to move up to fill their dire needs at the position.

The Mavericks are likely to nab whichever quality power forward slips out of the lottery and becomes available at the 17th pick. Many mock drafts have the Mavericks selecting Kentucky’s Terrence Jones. The 6-foot-9 forward could provide power off the bench and help fill the defensive and rebounding voids left after Tyson Chandler’s departure.

Like the Rockets, the Mavericks are also making a move at a perennial all-star. They are hoping that Dallas-native Deron Williams chooses to play for his hometown over resigning with the Brooklyn Nets. The Mavericks have been linked to taking North Carolina combo guard Kendall Marshall with their first round pick to give them ensure they have a point guard in case Williams stays with the Nets.