Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone explained why they decided to accept the Brooklyn Nets' offer for James Harden. The Rockets received three unprotected first round picks from the Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks' 2022 first-rounder via the Cleveland Cavaliers and the rights to swap first-round picks with Brooklyn in four other years.
The Rockets also received All Star guard Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs. "I don't think it's appropriate to talk about the other [offers]," Stone said in a virtual media availability on Sunday, as revealed by ESPN.
"I would say what's super exciting about this deal is it gives us flexibility. In the NBA, picks, especially high picks, are the best currency. Everybody likes them. Everybody values them. That was great organizationally.
It gave us flexibility to do different types of deals as they come up this year, next year or whatever. "Then we were able to get Victor Oladipo as part of it, along with [Kurucs and Exum], but Victor's a guy that we're really excited about.
I think he's excited to be here, and we think he's very talented, so that was not insignificant from our perspective."
Stone claims Harden did not force his way out of Houston
Following a 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden said the Rockets were not good enough and described their situation as unfixable.
Rockets general manager Stone claimed Harden's comments did not expedite trade talks. "I can guarantee you it didn't affect us," Stone claimed. Harden requested a trade from the Rockets in the offseason and did not have a change of heart.
"He came to the decision he came to, and we all will move forward," Stone said. "He's a great basketball player. I wish him nothing but the best." The Rockets are especially excited about the Oladipo addition.
"Your hope is that it's a perfect marriage," Stone said. "He's an extremely talented player. He's a two-way player. He's played at an extraordinarily high level. He's obviously had a significant injury.
He's back. He's already really, really good, but I think in his own mind and in ours, there's still room to grow, which is really exciting. "I think for him and for us, this is like a really exciting time where we get to see if it works out. Hopefully, it just works out gangbusters, and then we take it from there."