8 Houston Rockets that never played a single minute

Portland Trail Blazers v Sacramento Kings
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2. Nic Batum

Nicolas Batum was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 25th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Batum was highly touted as a teenager on the French national team, as he won MVP of the 2006 FIBA Europe Under-18 championship, helping France win gold.

In the same year, Batum also won MVP of Germany's Under-18 Tournament.

The Rockets dealt the 6-foot-8 forward to the Portland Trail Blazers for Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey on the night of the draft, setting the stage for him to become a highly productive player for the Blazers, which is exactly what he did.

Batum spent seven seasons in Portland, becoming a viable 3-and-D wing for the Blazers and Nate McMillan. Batum was the lone constant as the Blazers transitioned from Brandon Roy to LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard and posted averages of 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3 assists, 44.6 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from long-range, and 83.4 percent from the charity stripe over the course of his tenure.

Batum was dealt once again to the Charlotte Hornets in 2015 and upped his play even more. In 2015-16, Batum averaged 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 34.8 percent from deep. Batum was the Hornets’ primary facilitator and second-leading scorer behind Kemba Walker, and helped the Hornets reach the postseason, as they won 15 more games than the previous season.

The 2016-17 season saw very much of the same from Batum, as he had a team-leading 5.9 assists, along with 15.1 points and 6.2 rebounds. All told, Batum averaged 12.1 points, 4.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 34.8 percent from three, and 85.1 percent from the free throw line through five seasons in Charlotte before joining the LA Clippers in 2020, where he served as a viable contributor and two-year starter for the new-look Clippers.