NBA Trade Deadline Countdown: Can Daryl Morey Keep His Streak Alive?

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Morbidthoughts via Wikimedia Commons
Today is the day, the day when NBA contenders will take one last shot at reshaping or retooling their rosters for a stretch run, and the day when NBA afterthoughts stockpile a few more first- and second-round draft picks that they will inevitably screw up come June of whatever year those picks are in.

It's NBA trade deadline day, and since Daryl Morey arrived in Houston as the general manager prior to the 2007-2008 season, we in the media could always count on this being a day with something to talk about. Morey has always made deals on or near the NBA's trade deadline, and we love him for that!

This, however, might be the most crucial deadline during his tenure as GM, given the rickety health of Dwight Howard's knee and the need for another offensive creator alongside James Harden, not to mention the fact that their decision not to bring back Chandler Parsons was done in order to maintain flexibility to make some sort of deal, granted with no guarantees that deal would be this season.

If you're looking for an "impact gauge" on previous deadline deals executed by Morey, let's take a look back and relive the magic! (My comments after each year's deadline are preceded by "SP".)

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Alex Rodriguez's Handwritten Apology Letter to You, Baseball Fan

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Twitter
It feels like it's been so long since Alex Rodriguez has been part of our lives, I had almost forgotten he existed. I knew there was a reason why food tasted slightly better, sleep was slightly more sound and the air was slightly fresher the past year or so -- NO A-ROD!

However, it's time to come to grips with reality. Alex Rodriguez, however old and out of shape he may be, is coming back mostly because it's the only way he will collect his $61 million the Yankees still owe him. His suspension is over.

Also, he wants you to know that he's sorry for what he did and lied about multiple times. In fact, he wrote to apologize to you yesterday....

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Houston Rockets Not on Goran Dragic's List of Desired Trade Destinations

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Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
It was the summer of 2012, the NBA's offseason, and it was time for the Houston Rockets to begin making some moves.

Goran Dragic, the smooth, Slovenian point guard that the Rockets had acquired in a trade for Aaron Brooks a little over a year prior, was coming off of his best season as a pro, averaging nearly twelve points a game in 2011-2012 and routinely cracking the twenty point mark in games during the final two months of the season after taking over starting point guard duties in the wake of the Kyle Lowry trade to Toronto.

So it would stand to reason that the Rockets would want to keep Dragic around to run the show with Chandler Parsons and whoever Daryl Morey eventually acquired as a foundational type of star player. Or so we thought. The team offered Dragic around $8 million per year over three years, but Dragic wanted a fourth year at his option in the deal. The Rockets balked at that.

As it turned out, the Rockets wanted to keep Dragic, but not enough to concede player control over a fourth year in the deal, and perhaps whatever remaining grudge Dragic has over that is the reason why we are where we are this morning.

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SNL Anniversary Special Triples NBA All Star Game Rating (w/ Eddie Murphy SNL VIDEO)

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Screengrab, Yahoo
In some ways, it's never been easier to be a couch potato. There's more good TV than there's ever been, and so long as you have a DVR with the proper wherewithal to record multiple shows at any one time, you can relax and binge watch for days on end.

However, the decisions on what to watch in first run have never been more difficult. Sports would seem to be the default "live watch" because it's real and it's immediate and it's nearly impossible to avoid spoilers if you function as a human being on a remotely normal basis in 2015.

However, with the advent of social media, all it takes is one dickhead to ruin a drama or comedy running first time, so the sporting event had better be compelling if it's going to beat out first run dramatic or comedic endeavors.

So on a crowded Sunday night, was the NBA All Star Game compelling enough to trump NBC's 40th anniversary special for Saturday Night Live? Well, Monday we got our answer...

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Happy Presidents' Day! 5 Great Presidential Sports Moments (w/ VIDEO)

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ESPN via YouTube Screenshot
It's Presidents' Day, a semi-fabricated holiday made up by somebody who got tired of giving us days off on both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays. Those were good times, and they've been ruined by one morphed-together holiday where Washington and Lincoln are now each getting just a little bit screwed.

I know how they feel. My older two children were born on my birthday 17 years ago. I'll let you take one guess as to whose birthday gets jammed at the back of the line every year in our family. Yep, old pops!

So George and Abe, I feel you, man. Let's see if we can't properly celebrate you and your presidential ilk in a post here today. How about five of the greatest presidential sports moments in our nation's history?

Sound good? Okay...

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Patrick Beverley Rubs My Nose in It, and 6 Other Observations From NBA All-Star Weekend

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Let's face it, the second full season as the starting point guard for the Rockets has not gone exactly how Patrick Beverley (or anybody rooting for or associated with the Rockets) planned.

Last year, heading into the postseason, you could have made the argument that Beverley was the Rockets' third most valuable player behind James Harden and Dwight Howard. When he was out, the team's defense suffered noticeably, and with a gauntlet that was starting (and unfortunately ended, literally) with Damian Lillard, a healthy Bev was a necessity.

2014-2015 hasn't been a great look for Beverley. He's been a half step slower (seemingly) on defense, and offensively, the fact that everything runs through James Harden (as it should) means Beverley is relegated to "just make your corner threes" status. And lately, he hasn't been making as many.

So I thought it was odd when the NBA chose Beverley as a replacement for Washington point guard John Wall in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. I thought it was so odd, that I tweeted this...

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Kevin Durant Turns Heel, Says Media at All Star Weekend "Don't Know S**t"

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
At one time or another, for reasons valid or invalid, star players in the NBA get hated on by the fans.

In LeBron's first year after "The Decision", he was the biggest heel in all of team sports. Kobe Bryant has gone through his entire adult life being despised outside the Los Angeles city limits. Dwight Howard get knocked around like a piñata every Thursday night on TNT by Charles and Shaq and America gleefully watches on. There is an eleven minute YouTube online of James Harden's opting to play no defense in actual games.

You get my point.

Eventually, many of them pull out of whatever likability tailspin we've thrust upon them, but at one time or another the sacred bond of blind love between NBA star and NBA supporter gets tabled, temporarily or permanently, with almost every star.

Well, all except one. Kevin Durant.

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Suns Make Former Rocket Goran Dragic Available in Trade

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Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Come on, Daryl Morey. Keep tradition alive. Make the deal.
Even amidst a 36-17 start that has exceeded the expectations of most experts who cover the NBA and has certainly far exceeded the expectations of the wagering public (the Rockets were forecast for a 48-34 record by wagering outlets in the preseason), the Rockets have needs, needs that have frankly become magnified in the absence of Dwight Howard for the past few weeks, and will continue to be so in the next few weeks.

Another big man would certainly be helpful, as depth and/or insurance to protect against Dwight's balky knee. Hopefully, names like Utah's Enes Kanter or even Brooklyn's Brook Lopez could be in play for the Rockets (although matching salaries on Lopez, admittedly, may be tricky).

But as much as size would help, what the Rockets clearly need, Dwight or no Dwight, is another creative offensive player to take some of the pressure off of James Harden, who right now is the only Rocket who can consistently go get baskets for this team in more than one or two ways.

Enter Goran Dragic.


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James Harden to Start NBA All-Star Game (And My Plea That He Plays As Little As Possible)

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Photo by Groovehouse
I find it intriguing how personally people take individual accolades for their favorite professional sports players. I don't find it insulting nor offensive, mind you. Just intriguing, intriguing that people (with jobs and families) would take individual awards for someone other than themselves so seriously, that they would let it legitimately effect their moods.

We saw it with J.J. Watt and the MVP Award in the NFL. There were Texans fans who seemed like they were ready to storm the NFL Honors award night and take hostages if Aaron Rodgers won the award. (Thankfully, there was no visible Watt-fueled demonstration at the awards show after Rodgers won.)

And we saw it with James Harden and the NBA All Star Game, with constant reminders from fans and people within the Rockets on Twitter to continually pepper social media with Harden's name and the hashtag "#NBABallot" to get him a starting berth in the NBA's version of the "midseason classic."

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Aaron Hernandez's Fiancée Granted Immunity for Her Testimony

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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via TMZ Sports
Since the time Aaron Hernandez was indicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd back in 2013, we knew there would always be two problems for the prosecution when it came time to try and get a conviction -- a lack of credible witnesses from the night of the murder willing to testify against Hernandez, and the lack of a murder weapon.

Well, a lot may have changed on Tuesday, as the prosecution may be a whole lot closer to having both of those items. Indeed, with the news that his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, would be granted immunity for her testimony, the walls may finally be closing in on Aaron Hernandez.

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