Rockets GM Reveals Why He Chose the Nets Offer for James Harden

Published 01/17/2021, 11:30 PM EST
Jan 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) high fives forward Kevin Durant (7) during a time out in the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


After trying for months, the Houston Rockets finally gave in and traded away James Harden. They tried to get a deal with a superstar player in return but failed to do so. So instead, they took the Nets’ pick heavy offer, while also getting Victor Oladipo.

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GM Rafael Stone recently spoke about this trade and his excitement regarding the future possibilities. He said“What’s super exciting about this deal is that it gives us flexibility. In the NBA, picks are the best currency. Everybody likes them, everybody values them.”

Jan 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) drives past Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) in the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets received a massive haul of four first-round picks in that trade, which included three from the Nets and one from the Bucks (through the Cavs). They also have four pick swaps from the Nets, which means they can choose to claim a pick swap if the Nets pick is better, and have the right to reject the swap if they have a better pick themselves.

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With this pick arsenal, they also received a $10.6 million trade exception, which Stone is eager to use. He said that they “will aggressively be trying to use” that exception before the trade deadline.

Will the Rockets be able to compete without James Harden?

Not only was Stone happy about the pick haul but also about the incoming star Victor Oladipo. He said, “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.”

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The Rockets now have a solid core of Christian Wood, John Wall, and Oladipo. DeMarcus Cousins is still getting into his groove, but if he can come close to how good he was earlier, he can be a scary player to deal with.

They also have Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, whose contracts along with a couple of picks can bring in quality players. Both of them are regressing and if they trade soon, they will be able to get the maximum value.

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The Rockets may have lost one of their best ever players, but they are still in a good state to compete in the coming seasons.

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Aaron Mathew

1523 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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