Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone revealed his thoughts on the James Harden blockbuster trade months after the franchise decided to pull the trigger and send its superstar to the Nets.
Stone did not reveal any extra information on the trade, however he admitted that he would do that deal again. The Rockets’ front office received criticism for its decision to choose draft capital over a package based on Sixers’ All-Star Ben Simmons.
Not only that, but once they decided to make the deal with Brooklyn, they shipped Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert for minimal returns.
All in all, the Rockets ended up getting Brooklyn’s package of draft picks, first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks and Victor Oladipo in exchange for Harden.
Later in the season, Houston shipped Oladipo to Miami for almost nothing receiving back the two expiring contracts of Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley. However, Stone stands by the decision he and his front office made during the last few months (via CBS Sports):
“One of your colleagues texted me the day after the trade and they said they would evaluate me in 2027,” Stone said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “And I told them that that was too early; they should do it in 2030. I would for sure, 100 percent, do that deal again. Again, you guys don’t have the advantages of knowing everything I know, but literally no part of me regrets doing that deal. I have not second-guessed it for a moment.”
The Rockets are on the midst of a rebuilding process as they have one of the worst records in the league, despite the notion they did not want to tank at the start of the season.
Ultimately, if the goal was to avoid tanking, the Rockets failed, however judging Harden’s deal as a whole at this point is impossible.