Ranking 4 of the best moves by Rockets GM Rafael Stone

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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3. Trading up for Alperen Sengun

The 2021 NBA Draft was easily one of the better drafts for the Houston Rockets over the last decade. The Rockets made the ultimate decision to select Jalen Green with the second overall pick, which has occupied the brunt of the discourse from the Rockets' draft class that year.

Yes, the Rockets passed on the opportunity to draft Cavs big man Evan Mobley. And after seeing Jalen Green average 22 points per contest in 2022-23, it's hard to argue with the Rockets' decision. 

This dialogue has overshadowed the fact that the franchise landed Alperen Sengun, despite not having a lottery-pick to use on the Turkish big man, following the selection of Green. Instead, the Rockets essentially gave the Oklahoma City Thunder multiple future first-round picks that will likely never convey, based on the heavy protections.

In Sengun, the Rockets landed a Nikola Jokic clone, as the Turkish center possesses playmaking ability good enough to run an offense. And it's not like Sengun was an unproven player prior to entering the NBA, as he secured the MVP award in the Turkish League, after posting averages of 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Maybe the rest of the league wasn't paying attention. This allowed Stone and the Rockets to swoop in and go for the jugular.