Houston Rockets 75th Anniversary Team Rank 6 - 5
Clyde Drexler joined the Rockets’ midseason in the 1994-95 season and helped the franchise win back-to-back titles. Drexler was excellent next to Hakeem in the ‘95 playoffs and decided to stick around in Houston to finish his career. While his numbers declined slightly as a Rocket, it was mainly because he went from the first option in Portland to the second option in Houston.
Over three and half seasons, Drexler averaged 19 points, 5.4 assists, and 6.1 rebounds per game and landed on one All-NBA team. Clyde the Glide had an excellent Rockets career and if he had been a Rocket longer he’d be much higher on the list.
Elvin Hayes had two Rockets’ careers. One at the beginning of his career and one at the end, with a legendary stint with the Washington Bullets in-between. While his Bullets career is what he’s most known for, his first four seasons as a Rocket saw him average 27.4 points and 16.3 rebounds per game. In fact, as a rookie, he won the scoring title with 28.4 points per game, the fifth-best rookie mark ever.
Hayes’ excellence on the court only led to one postseason for the newly formed San Deigo Rockets. He would go with the team to Houston in 1971 before being traded to the Baltimore Bullets. Hayes rejoined the Rockets to finish out his career in 1981, a decade after leaving the first time. While not as productive as his first stint, he did average 15.7 points and 9.2 rebounds in his age 36 through 38 seasons. Hayes was awesome for the Rockets, it’s just too bad they weren’t awesome for him. If he had spent his whole career with the Rockets or had more team success he’d probably be a spot or two higher.