Houston Rockets: 4 worst transactions made by Rafael Stone

Brooklyn Nets v Houston Rockets
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3. Mismanagement of draft capital in 2023 offseason

Heading into the 2023 offseason, the Houston Rockets had a goal of signing Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, as the franchise realized a need to improve defensively. The Rockets reportedly thought they had a deal in place to land Lopez.

Well, not reportedly. They did.

We know this because they went through with the multi-team sign-and-trade deal despite Lopez backing out.

And look, I'm not here to condemn Stone for Lopez reversing course on his decision. That happens.

Stone felt it was necessary to follow through with the deal, sending TyTy Washington, Usman Garuba, two second-round picks, and $1.1 million to the Atlanta Hawks, as they wanted to continue to rehabilitate their image around the league, reportedly.

There are several problems with this. For one, they gave up on two players who they invested first-round draft capital on without ever really seeing what they had to offer.

But that's fine. Again, that happens.

They could've let the Hawks know that the trade was contingent on Lopez signing in Houston. That way there wouldn't have been any image issue because the conditions would've been made clear on the front end.

But also, Stone attached future second-round picks just to get rid of these guys. When you're a contending team (which the Rockets have stated that they want to be), second-round picks should be used to acquire formidable players who are oftentimes the missing piece.

And Stone parted with multiple seconds just to get rid of two players he believed in enough to select in the first-round. The issue here was the gross negligence and mismanagement of future draft capital, which was on display even more when the franchise traded Patty Mills to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the cost of three future second-round picks of their own.