HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Daryl Morey's departure from the Houston Rockets is expected to usher in a new era in Clutch City.
And the person reportedly set to take the reins in the front office is Rafael Stone, a long-time executive for the team who once handled the Rockets' legal matters.
Here's what we know about Stone, who will also likely play a big role in finding the team's next head coach.
He is a native of Seattle, Washington, according to his team biography with the Houston Rockets.
Stone earned his undergraduate degree in history and political science from Williams College in Massachusetts, where he also played varsity basketball for four years.
He then graduated from Stanford Law School.
His team bio states he practiced in law firm Dewey Ballantine LLP's mergers and acquisitions and capital markets group.
He was hired with the team in 2005 as general counsel while the Rockets were owned by Leslie Alexander.
According to his biography, as general counsel, he focused on legal matters for Toyota Center, television and radio agreements, community relations, sponsorship agreements, intellectual property matters, human resources matters, risk management, and compliance with league rules. In addition, Stone assisted with the basketball operations staff with the management of legal issues relating to the team.
He served in that role until his promotion to executive vice president of basketball operations in April 2019.
Stone would control player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the team during contract negotiations with players. This job duty fits with his experience negotiating in mergers.
This would be key when trying to hire a new head coach with an enticing salary.
It will also be key in keeping the team's core together while also staying under a salary cap.