Houston Rockets: Ranking the top 10 players in team history

Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Credit: Tim Defrisco/ALLSPORT}
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Credit: Tim Defrisco/ALLSPORT} /
3 of 11
Steve Francis #3 Houston Rockets
Steve Francis #3 Houston Rockets (Photo by: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

9. Steve Francis

Steve Francis was traded from the Vancouver Grizzlies to the Houston Rockets after the 1999 NBA Draft. Francis would go on to play five seasons with the Rockets and make three All-Star teams Francis was named Rookie of the Year along with Elton Brand following the 1999-2000 NBA season in which Francis averaged 18 points, 6.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. Francis finished 13th in the league in total assists that season, which was impressive for a rookie on a non-playoff team.

During the 2000-2001 season, Francis increased his scoring to 19.9 points per game and finished 12th in the league in assists and eighth in total steals. Francis actually increased his scoring and rebounding in each of his first three seasons in the NBA. Francis finished the 2001-2002 season with 21.6 points per game, which was good for 14th in the league that year and would also be a career-best for Stevie Franchise. In addition, he finished 15th in assists per game in addition to averaging a career-best seven rebounds per game, all of which culminated into Francis making his first All-Star team.

The following year, during the 2002-2003 season, Francis would finish 12th in assists in addition to finishing seventh in total steals and earn another spot on the All-Star team. Despite the success of Francis, the Rockets didn’t make the postseason in any of his first four seasons in Houston. During the 2003-2004 season, despite a then career-low in points and assists, Francis made his third and final All-Star team, as he finished fifth in steals per game.

This season marked the only playoff appearance for Francis during his Rockets career, as the Rockets earned the seventh seed in the Western Conference but were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers who had the second seed. Francis averaged 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists during the first round while shooting 41 percent from downtown. At the conclusion of the 2003-2004 season, Francis would be traded for the next person on this list.

Francis ranks seventh in team history in total assists and steals, in addition to fourth in Rockets history in assists per game and sixth in steals per game. Francis also proved to be durable, as he averaged 39.1 minutes per game, which is second-most in team history.

Next: No. 8