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} /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets -Elvin Hayes (Photo by Vernon Biever/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. Elvin Hayes

After being selected by the San Diego Rockets with the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA Draft, Elvin Hayes dominated as a rookie. Hayes averaged 28.4 points per game and 17.1 rebounds in his first year, leading the league in scoring during the 1968-1969 season. Hayes is still the last rookie to lead the NBA in scoring, which is beyond impressive.

In his second season, Hayes led the league in rebounding, as he averaged 16.9 rebounds per game, despite being only 6-foot-9. Hayes currently ranks fourth in NBA history in total rebounds, behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which is certainly elite company.

For the first four years of his Rockets career, Hayes averaged 27.4 points and grabbed 16.3 rebounds, and was named an All-Star in each season during that stretch. Hayes would later re-join the Rockets for the last three seasons of his 16-year career, posting averages of 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. For his entire seven-year Rockets career, Hayes has averages of 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.

Hayes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990, and is all over the Rockets’ franchise record books, ranking second in total rebounds behind only Hakeem Olajuwon, and ranks fifth in total points in franchise history. Hayes ranks third in franchise history in rebounds per game with 12.2 and ranks sixth in team history with 20.6 points per game.

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