18 people who turned their back on the Houston Rockets franchise

NBA All-Star Game 2016
NBA All-Star Game 2016 / Elsa/GettyImages
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16. Christian Wood

Christian Wood was a big fish in the 2020 free agent class. The Rockets were coming off a fourth-place finish in the Western Conference in 2019-20, as the Russell Westbrook and James Harden pairing led the franchise to the Western Conference Semifinals in their lone season together. 

The Rockets hoped to add a big man, who could serve as a third option, while also addressing their lack of size. Insert Wood, who the Rockets got on a bargain contract ($41 million over three years).

However, the team looked drastically different, as Westbrook had already been traded to the Washington Wizards for John Wall, and Harden was dealt to the Nets shortly thereafter. Wood was the star of the show, or so he thought.

By Wood's second season in the Space City, it was clear why he'd been on almost half of the teams in the league, as his poor attitude resurfaced in the Rockets' matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers in January of 2022. Wood missed his COVID test prior to the start of the game and was forced out of the starting lineup, as a result, as it caused the Rockets' team shootaround to be delayed.

Despite that, Wood didn't agree with his punishment and was seen pouting. Rockets former assistant John Lucas confronted Wood at halftime for his histrionics and one of his teammates also challenged him to set a better standard as a leader and fellow statesman on the team.

Wood decided against subbing into the game in the second half, resulting in a suspension. Wood was later traded at the end of the season.