Best shooting guards in Houston Rockets history, ranked
The Houston Rockets currently have on their team arguably the best shooting guard in the league today in James Harden. As a matter of fact, the former Most Valuable Player winner should go down history as one of the best two-guards of all time.
That being said, Harden has got to be at the very top of today’s Top 3 list of greatest shooting guards that have ever donned the Rockets jersey. We were, however, able to round up a couple more names to complete our ranking, and without further adieu, here they are.
3. Tracy McGrady
Is there any other more memorable moment in Tracy McGrady’s career than the time that he astoundingly scored 13 points in the span of 33 seconds? Well, that was just one of many unforgettable moments during the 6-foot-8 shooting guard’s six-year stint with the Rockets.
In 2004, the Rockets landed McGrady via a franchise-altering trade deal from the Orlando Magic. Houston had to pay a steep price to acquire his services, sending over Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley in the opposite direction. McGrady’s value was extremely high at that point, following a highly-impressive four seasons with the Magic, which included the Most Improved Player award, four straight All-Star team call-ups, and back-to-back scoring titles.
In his five full seasons with the Rockets, McGrady helped the side to the playoffs four times, including a memorable second-round, seven-game series against eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 Playoffs.
Playing alongside the great Yao Ming, this duo formed one of the best pairings in Rockets history. Unfortunately, injuries got in the way of their success. Come the 2009-10 season — a campaign that Yao missed entirely — it was clear that the team had to call time on this once-promising duo. Houston decided to trade McGrady to the New York Knicks for a future first round pick and Kevin Martin (from the Minnesota Timberwolves), among others.
2. Clyde Drexler
Had Clyde Drexler been with the Rockets in his prime then he would have given Harden a run for his money as the top SG in franchise history. However, it wasn’t until he was 32 that Drexler came to Houston in what would turn out to be the final four seasons of his illustrious career.
The Rockets traded for Drexler in the middle of the 1994-95 campaign, as they looked to fortify the squad. Houston was the defending champs, and they needed a guy like Drexler to help them in their bid for back-to-back titles. True enough, the move would prove to be a stroke of genius with the future Hall of Famer able to make an immediate impact upon his arrival.
Playing alongside another great big man in Hakeem Olajuwon, Drexler was pivotal in Houston’s title defense, as he averaged 21.4 points (on 50.6 percent shooting), 7.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.7 triples per game in his first season with the team.
Drexler would have a rather unexpected resurgence in his career while with the Rockets, making two more All-Star game appearances in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, the New Orleans, Louisiana native would call it a career after 15 memorable seasons in the league.
1. James Harden
Last season, Harden averaged 36.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 4.8 triples per ballgame. This in itself is enough to prove that he deserves the title as the greatest shooting guard in Rockets history, but that’t not all the 30-year-old has done in his eight seasons with Houston thus far.
In what will go down in history as one of the best trade deals in team history, Houston acquired Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. The price they had to pay was Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, two future first-round picks, and one future second-round pick. Despite the haul, it remains clear that the Rockets got him for quite a bargain.
Stepping out of the shadow of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in OKC, Harden would establish himself as a bona fide superstar as soon as he arrived in Houston. Since then, he has made it to the All-Star squad for eight consecutive years, been names to the All-NBA team six times, held the title of the league’s scoring king twice (this season would have been the third straight year), and won the MVP title in 2018 (with more than a few believing that he should have gone back-to-back last season).
The only things missing from Harden’s list of accolades is the elusive NBA championship. However, the arrival of Westbrook last summer has had a significant impact on the team’s title hopes moving forward. Harden still has a lot of gas left in the tank, and surely, he will still be vying for that chip in the next few years.
The post Best shooting guards in Houston Rockets history, ranked appeared first on ClutchPoints.