The 8 Greatest Rockets in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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1. James Harden- 26.7

James Harden being atop this list might instill less confidence in PER, as Hakeem Olajuwon is unanimously viewed as the Rockets' best player.

But while Harden doesn't have two championships under his belt, unlike Olajuwon, he certainly had a legendary run in Houston (although his departure was rather messy).

Any mention of Harden's Rockets reign has to first start with how horribly Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder fumbled their Big Three of Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant.

Two of those players would be traded to the Rockets, while still in their prime. Anyways, back to Harden.

Harden is easily the best passer in franchise history, for starters. He's also the best scorer to ever put on a Houston Rockets uniform.

Hell, Harden is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen, as he led the league in scoring on three different occasions, all consecutively.

Harden pulled this off while playing alongside different co-stars and backcourt mates. And he pulled it off with defenses keying in on him and triple-teaming him at halfcourt.

It didn't matter.

In 2016-17, The Beard averaged 29.1 points and a league-leading 11.2 assists per contest, lifting the Rockets to the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, despite not being expected to be much better than the prior season, which saw them go 41-41 and nab the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference. 

Harden didn't win MVP that season, as it went to future Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, which still has many up in arms almost a decade later. The next season, however, Harden finally took home the hardware, averaging a league-best 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, while also leading the Rockets to the best record in the league at 65-17.

The following season, Harden went on the Unguardable Tour, averaging 36.1 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.6 rebounds and led the Rockets to the fourth-best record in the West, despite a myriad of injuries to several key players. In both seasons, however, the Rockets were unable to stave off the Golden State Warriors, who had no fewer than three Hall of Famers at a time, especially after adding Kevin Durant.

Harden led the Rockets to eight consecutive postseason appearances, which was a league-record at the time. All told, Harden averaged 29.6 points, 7.7 assists, six rebounds, 44.3 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from three, and 61.2 percent true shooting in nine seasons with the Rockets, while also making seven All-NBA teams and eight All-Star teams with the Rockets

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