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Moments after defying the odds to land the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Rockets general manager Rafael Stone had an understandably optimistic tone when asked about his message to Houston fans.

While Stone’s first year as GM ended with the Rockets (17-55) having the league’s worst record, they’re hopeful that won’t be the case for much longer — and a top prospect such as Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, or Jalen Green could make the franchise’s revival occur more rapidly.

When asked what he would tell fans after such a big night, Stone said:

I think we have a really good group of guys already. We have some very talented players. We’re really young, on the whole. We do have an interesting mix of some veterans, who are pretty good, too. But generally, the core of this group is very young, and we’re going to add some more young guys, who are hopefully really, really talented.

I expect and think that we’re going to be a fun team to watch grow, and I hope our fans enjoy it. I think it’s going to be a fun next few years.

Our goal isn’t to do anything overnight. It’s to build something really sustainable. And so, yeah, we’re excited. We feel good about the project, we feel good about the plan. And we really hope that our fans enjoy it with us. We’ve bene, up until this year, we’ve been a perennial top team. Which is really fun. But I also think it can be really, really fun to watch someone grow into that. And I think that’s the stage we’re at right now. We’re trying to grow back into a perennial contender, and we’re very confident that we’ll get there eventually.

Stone’s complete press conference from Tuesday night, which touched on a wide variety of team subjects, can be viewed below.


Rockets GM Rafael Stone doesn’t rule out trading No. 2 draft pick

Rockets defy odds in lottery, land No. 2 pick in 2021 NBA draft


Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, or Jalen Green? Examining top rookie options at No. 2