Houston Rockets all-time NBA Draft bust starting 5

The Rockets missed on these first-round draft picks.
Houston Rockets, Tilman Fertitta, Daryl Morey
Houston Rockets, Tilman Fertitta, Daryl Morey / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

SG: Josh Christopher

The Rockets took Christopher with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. It was their fourth selection of the night as they had already picked up Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, and Usman Garuba. Christopher was a bit of a surprise choice, and it did not pan out.

The 6’5 guard spent just two seasons in Houston where he averaged 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 15.4 minutes per game. He shot 27.7 percent from 3-point range and was so bad the Rockets dumped him in 2023 to clear space.

Christopher did not play one second in the NBA in the 2023-24 season and there is no guarantee he gets back into the league. He has played just 138 total games and has a negative 0.5 value over replacement player (VORP) for his career.

This one stings worse because of what could have been. Herb Jones, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Santi Aldama all went in the next 12 picks and look like solid NBA rotation pieces. The Rockets swung for Christopher’s upside and stuck out. It is a valuable lesson in taking someone ready to contribute at that stage in the draft but does little to numb the sting of this bust.