The Houston Rockets joined the NBA in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, but moved to Houston in 1971, where they have been located ever since.
In the first four drafts the Rockets participated in, each team had a total of 90 draft choices (14 in 1967, and 19 each from 1968 to 1971). For two drafts in 1972 and 1973, there were eight rounds, and from 1974 to 1985, the draft was 10 rounds long. However, in 1985, the draft was shortened to seven rounds, and in 1989, the NBA agreed with the National Basketball Players' Association to limit drafts to two rounds, an arrangement that has remained the same up the present time. Before each draft, an NBA Draft Lottery determines the first round selection order for the teams that missed the playoffs during the prior season.
- On June 9, 1977, the Rockets traded John Johnson to the Boston for Boston's 1977 and 1978 second-round draft picks.
- On June 9, 1978, the Boston signed Kevin Kunnert, and in compensation, the Rockets received cash and the Celtics' 1981 second-round draft pick.
- On 26 June, 1991, Houston traded Keith Hughes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second round draft in 1996 and future considerations.
- On June 19, 1996, Houston traded Pete Chilcutt, Tim Breaux, two 1996 draft picks, and a 1997 draft pick to the Vancouver Grizzlies for two 1996 draft picks and one 1997 draft pick.
- On June 28, 2008, Houston traded Eduardo Najera and a future second-round draft pick to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dan Langhi.
- On June 27, 2001, the Rockets traded Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, and Brandon Armstrong to the New Jersey Nets for Eddie Griffin.
- On June 2, 2002, the Rockets traded their 22nd first-round pick to the Orlando Magic for their 23rd first-round pick.
- On August 2, 2001, the Rockets traded Hakeem Olajuwon to the Toronto Raptors for future first and second-round draft picks.
- On June 18, 2002, the Rockets traded their secound-round pick to the Miami Heat for the Heat's second-round pick.
- On June 28, 2006, the Rockets traded Stromile Swift and the draft rights to Rudy Gay to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shane Battier.
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