Still in the NBA
Kevin Porter Jr.
The Rockets landed Porter Jr. via trade during the 2020-21 season, as they were in talent evaluation mode and were hoping to add young talents who needed a change of scenery. The franchise gave up essentially nothing to the Cleveland Cavaliers and he averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds for the Rockets in 26 games, including a 50 point-11 assist game. KPJ has been a bit of a success story for the Rockets, as he accepted a change to the point guard position and landed a long-term contract extension with the franchise in 2022.
The Rockets found Tate in the NBL and his competitive fire was on display before he ever played an NBA game, as he reportedly got into a dust-up with James Harden amid Harden's stand-off with the team, causing Harden to hurl a basketball at him out of frustration. Tate's hustle, effort, and energy has made him valuable for the Rockets throughout their rebuild, earning him a three-year extension with the Rockets worth $20.6 million. In 70 games with the Rockets in 2020-21, Tate averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 50.6 percent shooting from the floor and made the All-Rookie First Team.
James Harden played in eight games for the Rockets in 2020-21 before the franchise ultimately traded him in a deal that netted the Rockets a historic haul of draft picks. Harden initially went to the Brooklyn Nets before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2022 at the trade deadline.
Kenyon Martin Jr.
KJ Martin averaged 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 50.9 percent from the field, and 36.5 percent from three in over 23.7 minutes in 45 games with the Rockets in 2020-21. Martin flashed potential as a promising young prospect over the Rockets' next two seasons before getting traded to the LA Clippers this summer.
Victor Oladipo was a throw-in to the James Harden trade, as the Rockets hoped to remain competitive after dealing their long-time franchise player. Oladipo played in 20 games for the Rockets, averaging 21.2 points, 5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds on a subpar 40.7 percent from the floor and 32 percent from downtown. The Rockets offered Oladipo a contract extension before dealing him to the Miami Heat, where he has since remained.
Kelly Olynyk played in 27 games for the Rockets after being acquired in a deadline-day deal that saw the Rockets send Victor Oladipo to the Miami Heat. Olynyk averaged 19 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 54.5 percent from the field, and 39.2 percent from three. Olynyk signed with the Detroit Pistons in the offseason, who dealt him to the Utah Jazz in advance of the 2022-23 season.
PJ Tucker played 32 games for the Rockets in 2020-21, before being dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the year. Tucker won a championship with Milwaukee and joined the Miami Heat in the following offseason before joining forces with James Harden in Philadelphia in 2022, where he remains.
Eric Gordon played 27 games for the Rockets in 2020-21, as he missed significant time due to injury. Gordon averaged 17.8 points as a part-time starter and remained with the franchise until 2022-23, when he was traded to the LA Clippers. Gordon joined the Phoenix Suns in the 2023 offseason.
Many Rockets fans will remember D. House for his mishap in the 2020 NBA bubble, which saw the Houston native get sent home due to violation of the league's COVID protocols. The others could possibly remember House for his refusal to give his jersey number to Jalen Green during Green's rookie year. House played 36 games for the Rockets in 2020-21, and was waived by the franchise in the following season. House had stints with the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz before signing with the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason.
Brooks, the University of Houston product, showed immense potential as a bargain shooter for the Rockets in 2020-21, flashing the ability to be a true sniper and elite shooter from deep, Brooks averaged 11.2 points on 38.2 percent from long-range, setting an NBA record for the most threes made by a rookie in their first 20 games. The Rockets waived Brooks in 2021-22, paving the way for stints with the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks. Brooks was most recently signed to a two-way deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
Jeffries played 13 games for the Rockets in 2020-21, averaging 4.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 41.3 percent shooting in 20 minutes per contest. The Rockets waived him shortly after he joined the team, leading to several cups of coffee around the league, as he spent time with San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, and New York Knicks, where he currently remains.