The Rockets have signed Sam Dekker, this year’s No. 18 overall pick, the Priority Sports agency tweets (hat tip to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle). Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston says agent Mark Bartelstein told him the sides have a verbal agreement in place (Twitter link), and the team has yet to make any official announcement. Regardless of whether Dekker has actually put pen to paper, the signing is likely a mere formality, as the rookie scale usually removes any substantive negotiation between teams and their first-round picks. Dekker will make more than $1.646MM this year in the first year of a four-year deal, presuming he receives the standard 120% of the rookie scale.
Dekker’s stock surged amid Wisconsin’s run to the national championship game in the NCAA Tournament. The small forward is dynamic, with high basketball IQ and toughness, though he’s not a standout in any particular area, and his outside shooting could use some work, as Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors wrote in his prospect profile.
Houston took Dekker largely within his projected range. Chad Ford of ESPN.com had him as the 16th-best prospect, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranked him 21st. Our Eddie Scarito predicted he’d go 17th in the final Hoops Rumors Mock Draft.
The Rockets will likely remain over the cap after missing out on star targets LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love, so the Dekker signing, which will lift his cap hold by roughly $300K, is unlikely to affect the team’s flexibility.