The trade package the Houston Rockets received for James Harden has come under scrutiny since the trade deadline when they received very little in return for Victor Oladipo. Rafael Stone, however, continues to believe in the business package he has chosen.
The Rockets were given three first-round picks from the Nets, one first-round pick from the Bucks and the ability to switch positions from draft to draft four in exchange for Harden. Houston also essentially chose to take Oladipo instead of Caris LeVert.
“Considering the guys (draft picks) we’ve gotten, it seems like you can’t figure out how you’ve been doing for several years like five, something like that,” Stone said. “But I feel good about it. I would definitely do this deal 100% again. There is literally no part of me that regrets making this deal. I don’t question it for a moment.
“Being able to not have to be bad, there are other things we have done to help, but it was mainly this agreement that allowed us to say, ‘Hey, we want to compete on a lapse of time a little faster. “. We’re not going to go down this route by intentionally trying to lose games for years.
Stone also pushed back against the narrative that one of the deals was led by Tilman Fertitta.
“No offense to my boss, he doesn’t really have (a role) in a deal like this,” Stone said. “I do my best to be in constant contact with Tilman, explaining to him the direction in which we are trying to go… and I want him to feel very, very comfortable with our processes. Tilman is a good guy. It is very valuable to me as a resource.
“In terms of real actors? No. He leaves it to us.
Stone also spoke of Houston’s pursuit for a title over the past few years has helped their current status.
“I make absolutely no apologies,” Stone said, “organizationally, for the past five or six years, maybe longer, we’ve all been going every year, and considering the players we’re rostering was, building the team that we had, I think we did the right thing.
“This is how we find ourselves in the position where we are today. There are consequences to this. We are sort of experiencing these consequences.