Building through the draft
When one thinks of how to successfully rebuild a team, their mind likely automatically goes to the draft. And why wouldn’t it?
There’s something appealing to the promise of homegrown talent on team-friendly rookie contracts winning the hearts of fans.
And there are multiple examples of teams who have taken this approach in recent years; the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies have all made significant headway in returning to title contention, at least in large part due to home run draft choices.
But for every franchise who has successfully jumpstarted a rebuild through the draft, there are a litany of examples of teams that have been equally disappointed by the promise of young players that have not panned out; the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, to name a few.
All that is to say that when a team drafts a young player, regardless of how talented they may be, they are putting their hopes in an unknown variable.
However, in moving James Harden, Stone acquired eight first-round picks (if you include the pick swaps). By hoarding as many future draft picks as possible, Stone can give himself more opportunities to hit the jackpot on a young player.
It only takes one stroke of luck to find a franchise cornerstone.
Rebuilding through the draft brings no promises, but if Stone is a good judge of talent, he can set Houston on a path to sustainable and cost-effective success.
Next: Using draft picks to land a star