NBA News

Houston Rockets: 5 Worst Free Agent Acquisitions In The Les Alexander Era

By Michael Ma
2 of 7

Honorable Mention: Steve Francis

MEMPHIS, TN – DECEMBER 8: Steve Francis #3 of the Houston Rockets looks on after a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on December 8, 2008 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Rockets thought they were getting back some remnants of “The Franchise” when Les Alexander helped sign Francis to a 2-year, $6 million contract in July of 2007. Francis had better offers from the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Clippers, but chose to go back to the team where he became an NBA All-Star, and where fans embraced him.

Francis had averaged over 16 points and 6 assists in each of his first 5 seasons with the Rockets, and even though he had slowed down, he still averaged 11.3 points 4 assists coming off the bench for the New York Knicks the season before. All signs pointed that Francis would either be the starting point guard, or back-up for new head coach Rick Adelman. Instead, the wheels fell off the tracks before it even got started.

Francis didn’t even make the team rotation coming out of the pre-season, and was behind Rafer Alston, Mike James, and Luther Head on the point guard depth chart. He averaged 5.5 points and 3 assists in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury.

The experiment was short-lived as the Rockets shipped Francis to the Memphis Grizzlies on Christmas Eve of 2008 for…..basically nothing in return.