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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13. Danuel House Jr.

Danuel House Jr. became a pivotal player for the Rockets during the 2018-19 season. At the time, the Rockets were dealing with injuries to several key players, forcing them to sign Austin Rivers and Kenneth Faried.

House previously played for the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors, who released him prior to the 2018-19 season. House was signed to a two-way deal and was unable to come to terms with the Rockets on a standard deal, despite being the Rockets' best long-range shooter, at a 41.6 percent clip (on 4.6 attempts).

The Rockets and House agreed to a traditional deal worth $11.5 million over three years and he became a starter shortly thereafter, as he was a valuable utility player who could shoot the three. House averaged 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 36.3 percent from long-range (on 5.6 attempts), and an 81.1 percent clip from the foul line.

The Rockets were largely depending on House in the bubble, and especially against the Los Angeles Lakers. House's size and length seemed to matchup with James quite well. 

However, we still don't know how much of a matchup nightmare House would've been for James, as he got suspended during the series for breaking Adam Silver's COVID mandate. House drew the ire of the league office for having an unauthorized visitor in his hotel room, which got him sent home from the playoffs. 

And for a Rockets team in dire need of shooting and perimeter defense, this could have been the missing piece. House should've been able to keep the team's goal above any of his personal goals or achievements, rather than turning his back on the franchise.