Rockets Director of Player Personnel Dennis Lindsey spoke on local 610 radio Thursday, and gave some more insight on Rocket draft picks Vassilis Spanoulis and Malick Badiane, both playing overseas.
Lindsey sounded excited about the prospect of getting Spanoulis on the team.
"We're very, very happy with his progress," said Lindsey. "He changed clubs this year from Maroussi to the bigger club this year, Panathinaikos. For those not familiar with European basketball, they are like the New York Yankees of Greece and one of the two or three better organizations in Europe. They are an NBA level club. From our standpoint, we really like what Vassilis has done. He is their leading scorer. They are 9-1 in the Euroleague and they have already qualified for the top sixteen."
Lindsey praised Spanoulis' ability to attack the basket.
"He's got a couple of characteristics that we like," added Lindsey. "He can really drive and get the ball in the paint, and he's relentless with it. He kind of plays basketball like a fullback a little bit, where he just kind of breaks through the line and there's contact on a lot of plays."
Whether Spanoulis is ready to join the team remains to be seen, but Lindsey made it sound like the Rockets would like him on the squad sooner rather than later.
"The owner and Jeff and Carroll really like what they've seen so far and we've made a couple of trips over and hopefully in the near future we can have him as a Rocket because we think he can help us."
As for Badiane, Lindsey wasn't quite as glowing in his report, but did say Malick was progressing.
"[Malick] is doing very well," said Lindsey. "He's played more this year than he ever has before, I think he's close to 30 minutes a game. In the German league, he's averaging right at 11 points, 6 or 7 rebounds and a block per game. He's progressing nicely, but his team is struggling this year. The good news is he has gotten a lot of time. We like how he has progressed. He's got some deficiencies. First, he started basketball very late. But he's got good coaching and we eventually think he could be a roster player."
"As a 22-year old guy who is 6-11 and 235 pounds and a shotblocker, we like how he has progressed," said Lindsey. "He's got some deficiencies ... he started basketball very late. But he's got a very good coach there and we think that eventually maybe he could be a roster player and a rotation player. Someone like maybe in the mold of [Denver's] Francisco Elson, except Malick does a couple of other things better than Francisco does at this stage in rebounding and blocking shots."