Draft picks hold a very high value in the NBA, and that's why the Brooklyn Nets landed James Harden from the Houston Rockets.
Rockets general manager Rafael Stone reportedly considered a deal from the Philadelphia 76ers that included Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle, but Brooklyn's offer of three future first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps was irrefutable. Stone said in a virtual media availability Sunday, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon:
"I don't think it's appropriate to talk about the other [offers]. 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."
The Rockets also managed to solidify their lineup by acquiring Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers in the four-team Harden trade. The former second-overall pick is set for free agency after the 2020-21 season, but Stone sounds keen on re-signing the 28-year-old:
"Your hope is that it's a perfect marriage. 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."
The Rockets are tied for the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 4-7. They'll be hoping Oladipo can help turn things around. The two-time All-Star is averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 42.1% from the field and 36.2% from deep.