Rockets GM Daryl Morey: "By Playoffs, We Will Be Better Than Last Year"

Categories: Basketball, Sports

morey-court.jpg
Always cool.
There's a picture on Daryl Morey's Facebook page that is almost exactly five years old.

It's a picture from a July trip to Las Vegas for the NBA's Summer League, and presumably a night of unwinding in one of the casinos playing some blackjack. The caption to the picture says "Rockets win and then this in blackjack. Not bad."

"This" is four hands of blackjack after two splits of aces, a scenario where the odds are like the same as two strangers having identical DNA. It's an amazing and an appropriate metaphor for how the last two offseasons have gone for the Houston Rockets.

In 2012, they brought in James Harden for Kevin Martin's expiring contract, a late lottery pick (became Steven Adams), and some other slop. In 2013, they sold Dwight Howard on charting his next four (hopefully) years here in Houston.

In 2014, what's the appropriate blackjack metaphor?

After last Friday afternoon, when LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland, and hope was at an all-time high that Chris Bosh would become a Rocket, Morey was metaphorically sitting on a 20 while the dealer (who in this case was Pat Riley) had a six showing.

Unfortunately, when Riley turned over his face down card, it was a five (as in five years guaranteed). The next card was a jack (as in Bosh, you "jack ass," don't do it!).

Twenty one. Bosh went back to Miami.

From there, the rest of the weekend felt like the blackjack equivalent of return trip after return trip to the ATM, with the final bottoming out being the decision to allow Chandler Parsons to take his talents north up Interstate 45 to Dallas. If the metaphorical casino in question were in lake Charles, all that was left was the miserable two hour ride home.

However, Daryl Morey definitely doesn't see it that way. He would argue the rest of the weekend and the subsequent decisions, including letting Parsons go (hell, maybe especially letting Parsons go) was more like opting to stay away from the table, breaking even, leaving some money in the account, so that you can live to play cards another day.

Rocket fans loved Chandler Parsons, but in Morey's mind, the book on winning titles is the book of three -- as in, you have to have three All-Star players in order to compete. Until you have those three players, you overpay for nothing, and hoard anything of value.

Flexibility, asset compiling. Unfortunately, this is where Bosh's decision (the far more important decision on Friday to Houston) has left this team.

Morey, to his credit, unlike other GM's, will make the media rounds even after bad days. He doesn't just bask in the afterglow of Dwight, he will face the firing line after striking out on Bosh and allowing a popular player like Parsons to leave. He joined Nick Wright and John Lopez on SportsRadio 610 on Monday morning and addressed the events that went down over the last three days.


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16 comments
missnimi
missnimi

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XYYz
XYYz

this weekend proves why Morey is one of – if not THE best – general manager in Houston pro sports history. His sole focus is process – not sentimentality, fans' feelings, the media, nothing but making the right decisions to produce the maximum value for the team. Even when he "fails" in the eyes of the pundits and fans who rush to judgement, he performs in the same manner as he does when he succeeds. he remains true to the process. the results will sort themselves out.

quinnolivarez
quinnolivarez

the rockets will quietly surprise people by playing better next year on the defensive end, while expecting improvements from most of the roster, save for dwight howard (who is at his peak). TA will be able to reproduce most of what CP offered offensively (cuts, corner 3s, transition buckets). So long as we flesh out our bench rotation, we should be due for another 55ish wins this next season. More importantly, we added a player to our roster who will help us cover the likes of KD, Klay Thompson, Ginobili and now Parsons. Here's to a successful '15/'16 season!

billywitt
billywitt

"We can't be the organization that limits flexibility and locks us in and guarantees that we CAN'T win the title by PAYING 'Chandler Parsons.' We have to be the organization that FINDS those guys, not the organization that PAYS them."

I love this quote. This is EXACTLY how the New England Patriots operate. They dont make financial decisions based on sentimentality. If a guy's pay exceeds his value as a player, he's gone. Its cold blooded, but its how consistently winning organizations operate. Morey gambled three years in a row. The first two times he won big (Harden and Howard), the third year he came up snake eyes. It happens. Besides, the offseason isn't over yet. Lets see what the team looks like when the season starts. 

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Morey is a gambler with far too little common sense. Prove me wrong, I dare you.

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

@gossamersixteen little common sense?  WOW!  He's arguable the best in the biz at what he does.  You think Parsons was worth 15+ mill a year? 

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@RoosterMcGee @gossamersixteen Best in the biz? Where is Bosh, Anthony, LeBron? Letting young talent go, when we could have kept him another year for a measly 900K?!?! That's bush league idiocy.

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @RoosterMcGee Yes, we could have kept Parsons this year for 900k but we would have lost him next year for zero...atleast with this approach we could have re-signed him (for what we thought was going to be way less than 15 mill. He's probably worth around 10mill) and another player...that's beyond the point though. The point is Morey made all the right choices...the dominoes just didnt fall right. The fact that the Rockets got Parsons for 900k for 3 years just shows how good Morey is! The Mavs over-paid, and we got Ariza for way cheaper and basically the same attributes. 

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @RoosterMcGee ...that proves how much you really know!  What does Bosh, Anthony or LeBron have to do with anything?  Other teams could offer more or it was individual personal choices (LeBron is from Cleveland, Anthony stayed where he was for more money and an additional year option, and that goes for Bosh too). 

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@RoosterMcGee @gossamersixteen Ariza may well prove the same, overpaid. Though we cleared space for a big name that clearly fell through, and that in any estimation was a failure on his part (overly optimistic if you're an apologist sort).

XYYz
XYYz

@gossamersixteen Gossamer Bitch – you are a fool. first of all, Ariza is being paid appropriately, unlike Parsons in Dallas. Second, how quickly we forget that Morey made arguably the NBA's two biggest signings in the last two consecutive seasons. whether or not you view Morey as "best in the biz," as you clearly don't, is a matter of opinion. it could also be argued that Spurs front office is the best, but that's also a lot easier to say when you clearly have the best coach in the league and three Hall of Famers on your roster.

as most sheep and idiot fans in Houston, you're all about "what have you done for me lately." and instant results. you were probably also ranting about the Rockets' poor defense last year / playoffs. well guess what punk, we may have just significantly improved our defense at forward / swing position while saving about $7M per year in the process.

of course, you're probably also too dumb to know that Ariza was forced to play out of position much of his previous stint with the team.


at this point, I'm just happy that we replaced pretty boy Parsons with a veteran, defensive presence. we can keep building with the $ room we have. now shut up, idiot


RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

@gossamersixteen @RoosterMcGee I blame the fall of Bosh on no one.  Bosh told Morey if LeBron didnt stay he was going to be a Rocket...Morey had to believe him, and no way Bosh thought Miami would offer him that ridiculous contract. 

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@XYYz Only people who are defensive and clearly wrong have to be that abrasive and insulting. It's a healthy debate, and you don't see me dishing out non-sense (aka bovine scatology). Been a fan since 1980, something tells me care of your poor English you haven't even been around that long but I could be wrong. A punk is as a punk does, and the mirror doesn't lie.

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