Houston Rockets: The 15 greatest centers of all-time
Caldwell Jones got his start as a basketball player in the American Basketball Association, starting at center for the San Diego Conquistadors. Jones made his NBA debut for the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that featured Julius “Dr. J” Erving.
In 1982, the Sixers sent Jones along with a first-round draft pick (Rodney McCray was later selected) to the Rockets for Moses Malone. In retrospect, it’s clear that Houston got the short end of the stick in that trade, especially since Malone went on to lead Philadelphia to an NBA championship the very next season.
Jones only missed one game in two full seasons with Houston. Unfortunately, the Rockets struggled to find traction after losing Malone and won just 14 games in the 1982-83 season, finishing with the worst record in the league.
The Rockets traded Jones to the Chicago Bulls in 1984, where he played one year as a veteran on a young team that featured a rookie Michael Jordan. Jones then spent his next four seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before retiring with the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the 1989-90 season.
Amazingly, Jones was one of four brothers who lived out their dreams and played in the NBA. Unfortunately, Jones died back in 2014 due to a heart attack.