Both the Warriors and Rockets are proving that multiple avenues can eventually lead to the championship podium.
Neither method is necessarily preferable over the other.
Golden State has more young, cost-effective talent, but those rising stars will all need to be paid at some point. Houston's group is battle-tested and should be fairly easy to manage from a financial standpoint. But the Rockets had to pay absolute top dollar for Harden, may have missed out on Howard's best years and don't have a ton of prospects coming through the pipeline.
There are pros and cons on either side.
But it's hard to knock the methods given what they ultimately produced: a pair of NBA heavyweights battling for a single ticket to the game's ultimate stage.
Interesting read on the path to the West finals for both teams.
One way or another both teams relied heavily on prospects and picks to get to where they are today.