16 Players the Houston Rockets gave up on way too soon

Houston Rockets, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry
Houston Rockets, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry / Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Jon McGlocklin

McGlockin was the 27th overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, which was in the third round as the league only featured nine teams. He was a bench option for the Cincinnati Royals in his first two seasons before being drafted by the San Diego Rockets in the 1967 expansion draft.

McGlocklin played the fourth-most minutes and was the fifth-leading scorer for the Rockets in their inaugural season. The 6’5 wing showed plenty of promise, but he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the expansion draft after just one year with the soon-to-be Houston Rockets.

McGlocklin immediately blossomed with the Bucks and never left Milwaukee. He averaged 19.6 points per game and was an All-Star in year one. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joined the Bucks in 1969, and they instantly became contenders. McGlocklin was their fourth-leading scorer and key contributor on Milwaukee’s 1971 championship squad and helped them reach the NBA Finals for the second time in 1974.

Jon McGlocklin retired in 1976 after 11 years in the league. He became an All-Star and a key contributor to a championship team just after leaving the Rockets. The 25-year-old was just entering his prime, and the franchise failed to see his potential. It was Milwaukee’s gain as they quickly became contenders. The Houston Rockets made the playoffs just once in their first seven years, which may have changed with McGlocklin.