5 players the Rockets passed on drafting who later became stars

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Although the Houston Rockets have knocked it out of the park with many of their draft picks, they’ve also passed on several players who turned into stars.

The Houston Rockets have been one of the best teams at using their draft picks, regardless of which era or general manager we’re referring to. The Rockets’ current GM Daryl Morey is arguably the best GM in the league, as he’s been able to package draft picks to land stars, as in the case of James Harden, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook.

Many of the best Rockets players in franchise history are players that the Rockets selected in the draft, such as Hakeem Olajuwon and Steve Francis, who have dominated the franchise record books. The Rockets have even been able to maximize on late draft picks, which is how they got Chandler Parsons, Clint Capela, and fan favorite Isaiah Hartenstein.

But in spite of that, they’ve also missed on several picks, which is only natural. At the end of the day, the draft is a bit of a dice roll, and there are rarely any guarantees. We’ve seen lottery picks turn into busts and undrafted players turn into stars.

Let’s take a look at five players the Houston Rockets passed on drafting, while also mentioning who they selected instead. Each of the players on this list became stars, so it’s likely the Rockets would select them if they could have a do-over.

Let’s get started.

Next: No. 5