11. Houston Rockets (via Nets) select Donovan Clingan
Clingan is a traditional big man who protects the rim, rebounds, and finishes inside. He was the backup center on UConn’s national championship squad in 2023 and has moved into a starting role as a sophomore.
The 7’2 big man is still averaging just 20.7 minutes per game, but producing outstanding numbers, including 13.9 points and 2.0 blocks. He hopes to get more run and prove he can stay on the floor down the stretch and into the NCAA Tournament.
Clingan’s role will be limited in the NBA, but he could be impactful in 20 to 25 minutes per game as a rim protector, roll man, and rebounder. The injuries are a concern, especially with his size. Can Clingan stay healthy and help a contender in the NBA? It is fair to wonder. His per-minute production will be strong, but the impact is limited.
The Rockets want to make the playoffs but need a rim protector behind Alperen Sengun. Donovan Clingan could be the perfect fit in Space City.
Head coach Ime Udoka can play the matchups and situations. When he needs defense, Clingan can take over, but Sengun will get the majority of the run and continue to grow his incredible offensive game. It could be the ideal situation for all parties and help the Rockets get to the next level.