The Houston Rockets selected Wisconsin small forward Sam Dekker with No. 18 pick in 2015 NBA draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
During his junior season with the Badgers in 2014–15, Dekker averaged 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 31 minutes per game.
Dekker helped lead Wisconsin to a national title game appearance, though the Badgers lost to Duke.
In the NCAA tournament, the Badgers notably dispatched a 38–0 Kentucky team in the Final Four. Dekker scored a career-high 27 point in the team's Elite Eight game against No. 1 seed Arizona. He went 5 of 6 from 3-point range in that game.
Strengths: Dekker’s ability to score combined with his quality athleticism and ability to guard several positions make him a good fit for the NBA. He’s been a streaky three-point shooter in the past, but if he becomes more consistent beyond the arc, he’ll have a well-rounded offensive game that could lend itself to playing the four in small-ball situations. Given his size and tools on the defensive end (the one knock is that his wingspan is a relatively short 6’11”), it’s easy to see Dekker, a highly intelligent, competitive player, having a long career as a useful role player, if not more.
Weaknesses: A lot of Dekker’s success hinges on the sustainability of his shooting. While there’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to improve his stroke, his skill package is far less attractive and versatile if the three-ball doesn’t become a reliable part of his arsenal. He’s good, not great, with the ball in his hands and there’s the aforementioned issue of his short arms. These are all nitpicky criticisms, and Dekker would appear to be a fairly safe choice. He’ll go as far as his jumper can take him.