Houston Rockets- Rafael Stone’s best moves as general manager
#2 Building for the future with the James Harden trade
How many general managers have to trade their two best players in their first year on the job? After dealing Westbrook before the start of the season, Stone had to deal with a former league MVP and multiple-time scoring champion in James Harden also deciding he wanted out.
When Harden hadn’t been traded early in the season he essentially gave up on the team after a blowout to the Los Angeles Lakers, which prompted Stone to seek out the best package. In a blockbuster four-team trade that saw James Harden head to the Brooklyn Nets, Stone was able to secure an incredible package of draft picks and players.
Victor Oladipo, a proven scorer, whose contract will expire at the end of the season was the perfect return for Harden. If he performs you keep him around if not, he is not a long-term answer and will be off the books soon.
The return of four unprotected first-round picks from Brooklyn and Milwaukee and four unprotected first-round pick swaps gives the team plenty of assets to make moves. Stone said that it gives the team “flexibility” which is a general manager’s dream. With that, the team can take the picks and use them in trades or draft the next great franchise player.
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