AUBURN HILLS, MI - FEBRUARY 5: The Houston Rockets' Hakeem Olajuwon (L) and The Detroit Pistons' Lindsey Hunter battle for a loose ball 05 February at the Palace in Aurburn Hills, Michigan. AFP PPHOTO/Andrew CUTRARO (Photo credit should read ANDREW CUTRARO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets came into existence in 1967-68 as the San Diego Rockets. They spent their first four years in California before making the move to Houston for the 1971-72 season. The Rockets reached their first NBA Finals in 1980-81, despite only having a record of 40-42. They eventually lost in six games to the Boston Celtics. The Rockets won 51 games while making it back to the Finals, losing to the Celtics again in six games, during the 1985-86 season. They eventually made it back to the Finals, winning two titles in a row, during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons. Last season, the Rockets set a franchise record with 65 wins, eventually losing in seven games to the Warriors during the conference finals.

We easily could have done a top ten list for the Rockets. It is a franchise that has been blessed with many great players over the years. However, here are the top five players in Houston Rockets history.

5) Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy played his entire 13-year career with the Rockets. Amazingly, the Hall of Famer only made one All-Star Game appearance. However, he was highly productive throughout the majority of his career. In fact, he averaged more than 20 points per game five times. Additionally, he was over 15 points per game 10 times. Murphy was an efficient scorer who could also distribute effectively. It certainly makes sense to place Calvin Murphy at number five on the top five players in Houston Rockets history list.

Accolades with the Rockets: One-time All-Star

Stats with the Rockets: 17.9 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game, 4.4 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game. 48% from the field, 89% from the free throw line

Franchise Ranks: 2nd most games played, 1st in assists, 2nd in steals, 2nd in points, 6th in steals per game, 2nd in offensive win shares, 10th in defensive win shares, 3rd in total win shares, 8th in offensive box plus/minus, 8th in value over replacement

4) Elvin Hayes

Coming in at number four on the top five players in Houston Rockets history list is Elvin Hayes. Hayes played seven of his 16 total years with the Rockets. In fact, his first four seasons, as well as the last three, were spent with the team. During the aforementioned first four years with the Rockets, Hayes was absolutely dominant. He averaged 25 or more points per game in addition to 14 or more rebounds per game each season. Hayes was an All-Star each of those first four seasons as well. Before taking his career to the next level with the Bullets, Hayes already had established himself as a great with the Rockets.

Accolades with the Rockets: Four-time All-Star, one-time scoring champ, one-time rebounding champ

Stats with the Rockets: 20.6 points per game, 12.2 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, 0.9 blocks per game. 45% from the field

Franchise Ranks: 7th most games played, 2nd in rebounds, 5th in points, 6th in points per game, 3rd in rebounds per game, 2nd in defensive win shares, 10th in total win shares

3) Moses Malone

Registering at number three on the top five players in Houston Rockets history list is Moses Malone. Malone played six seasons in Houston, which were among the best of his 21-year career. He led the league in rebounding three of those seasons. Malone averaged well over 14 a game each year while also pouring in 24 points or more per game. Additionally, he was the league MVP two times in Houston. Clearly, he is one the best players in NBA history, and he showed why during his younger days with the Rockets.

Accolades with the Rockets: Five-time All-Star, four-time All NBA, one time NBA All-Defensive Team, two time NBA MVP

Stats with the Rockets: 24 points per game, 15 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, 1.6 blocks per game. 51% from the field, 74% from the free throw line

Franchise Ranks: 3rd in rebounds, 3rd in blocks, 6th in points, 10th in FG %, 2nd in points per game, 1st in rebounds per game, 4th in blocks per game, 3rd in player efficiency rating, 5th in offensive win shares, 7th in defensive win shares, 5th in total win shares, 6th in win shares per 48 minutes, 8th in box plus/minus, 3rd in offensive box plus/minus, 4th in value over replacement

2) James Harden

James Harden comes in at number two on the top five players in Houston Rockets history list. He has quickly ascended up the list during his time in Houston, establishing himself as a future Hall of Famer. Harden has averaged more than 25 points a game in each of his six seasons in Houston. That includes over 30 a game in his MVP season last year. If Harden stays on this same trajectory, he can certainly challenge for the number one position in franchise history.

Accolades with the Rockets: Six-time All-Star, five-time All NBA, one time assist champ, one-time scoring champ, 2017-18 NBA MVP

Stats with the Rockets: 27.9 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 7.7 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game, 0.6 blocks per game. 44% from the field, 36% from three, 86% from the free throw line

Franchise Ranks: 2nd in assists, 5th in steals, 4th in points, 1st in points per game, 1st in assists per game, 4th in steals per game, 1st in player efficiency rating, 6th in true shooting %, 8th in offensive rating, 3rd in offensive win shares, 6th in defensive win shares, 2nd in total win shares, 1st in win shares per 48 minutes, 1st in box plus/minus, 1st in offensive box plus/minus, 2nd in value over replacement

1) Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is still unquestionably number one on the top five players in Houston Rockets history list. Olajuwon did practically everything for the Rockets on his way to becoming one of the NBA greatest players. He was a great defensive player in addition to being one of the greatest rebounders. Take a look at the ridiculous numbers and accolades below, which clearly speak for themselves.

Accolades with the Rockets: 12-time All-Star, 12-time All NBA, nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time rebounding champ, 3 time blocks champ, 1993-94 NBA MVP, two time NBA Finals MVP, two time NBA champ

Stats with the Rockets: 22.5 points per game, 11.4 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game, 3.2 blocks per game. 51% from the field, 71% from the free throw line

Franchise Ranks: Most games played, 1st in rebounds, 4th in assists, 1st in steals, 1st in blocks, 1st in points, 4th in points per game, 5th in rebounds per game, 3rd in steals per game, 1st in blocks per game, 2nd in player efficiency rating, 3rd in defensive rating, 1st in offensive win shares, 1st in defensive win shares, 1st in total win shares, 7th in win shares per 48 minutes, 3rd in box plus/minus, 1st in defensive box plus/minus, 1st in value over replacement

Others considered: Otis Thorpe, Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, Rudy Tomjanovich, Yao Ming.

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