Houston Rockets All-time draft bust starting 5

Tyler Watts
Houston Rockets, Royce White
Houston Rockets, Royce White / Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
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PF: Royce White

The Rockets had missed the playoffs three straight years, and they were just a few months away from trading for James Harden in a franchise-altering blockbuster in 2012. Houston had three first-round picks, and they used the 12th overall selection on Jeremy Lamb, who was traded to the Thunder in October as part of the Harden deal. The Rockets kept White, who was the 16th overall pick, but he would arguably go down as the biggest draft bust in franchise history. They also selected Terrence Jones with the 18th overall pick.

White dealt with mental health issues, and the team could not agree on how those should be treated. The 6’8 forward stepped away from the Rockets as a rookie and never played a game for Houston. White was traded to the Sixers in 2013 for a conditional second-round pick that never conveyed.

Royce White played just three games in his NBA career, and the 31-year-old last played in the Big 3 League. White is currently planning a career in politics.

Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, Evan Fournier, Jae Crowder, and Will Barton were all selected after White in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Rockets had three first-round selections, and they failed to hit on either of the All-Stars that were still left on the board. None of Houston’s selections are still in the NBA, despite four second-round picks still thriving in the league.

It was a bad draft for the Houston Rockets that was punctuated by the selection of Royce White, who never played for the team.