3 Rockets Greats Who Would Be Even Better if They Played Today

Scot Pollard, Steve Francis
Former Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis | JAMES NIELSEN/Getty Images

The 2019-2020 Houston Rockets are emblematic of the way teams gameplan in the modern NBA. The Rockets play small, shoot a lot from range, and run the break with reckless abandon. Though they are fast now, they weren't always that way.

Back in the day, the Rockets were just as slow and post-offense driven as every other team in the league. These three Houston Rockets greats were amazing, but would've been even better if they played today.

3. Vernon Maxwell

Vernon Maxwell was one of the best 3-point shooters of his generation. Maxwell was an integral part of the Rockets team that won back-to-back titles in '94 and '95, and hit plenty of clutch shots from deep for those championship teams. The way he confidently shot and consistently made treys was ahead of his time. His six seasons in Houston still leave him fourth on the Rockets' in 3-pointers made all-time, with 730. Imagine if that shot had been an offensive focus at the time?

2. Steve Francis

Steve Francis is the flashiest NBA star you haven't thought about in a decade. In six seasons in Houston, Francis made three All-Star appearances, and won Rookie of the Year in the 1999-2000 NBA season. Francis impressed with flashy handles and highlight dunks, but never fully evolved into a superstar in the NBA. In today's fast-paced game, Francis' offensive potential could be fully tapped into. Proto-Russell Westbrook, baby!

1. Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady
Guard Tracy McGrady on the Houston Rockets | Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Tracy McGrady is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2017, and put up 22.7 points per game in six seasons with the Houston Rockets. In today's game, however, the extra space provided by the lack of focus on the game's big men would give him more space to drive inside to finish uncontested at the rim. Lord only knows how prime T- Mac would tear up 2020 NBA games...imagine if he didn't also have to focus on feeding Yao?