The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: There are people who doubt Daryl Morey?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

There are people who doubt Daryl Morey?

/beginning rant... NOW.

The NBA draft came and went a couple weeks ago... with the Rockets picking up a couple of players likely to contribute in the near future... and a third player who we'll all forget about this time next season. Today marks the true beginning of the Free Agency period. Or at least the "official" beginning to Free Agency.

The Rockets, not surprisingly, have been minor players in this market.
Very, very minor.

So, stumbling around the Chronicle this morning, I saw this interesting little post. Apparently, some people don't trust Daryl Morey to get the Rockets moving in the right direction. More specifically, I saw this quote in Mr. Campbell's column:

"a lot of fans are skeptical or downright pessimistic Morey will deliver. Is that indicative of the sentiment of thinking Rockets fans, or are you willing to wait and see?"

Really? There are legitimate, intelligent Rockets fans who think Morey is not capable of delivering?? Who are these people so I can interview them and expose them as frauds?!? We're talking about Daryl Morey... the man who brought us Aaron Brooks and traded up to get Carl Landry in last year's draft. The GM who shortly after the draft brought us this wonderful image:

Yeah, Luis Scola is a badass. And he was acquired by a badass GM... and Morey did all this in his FIRST season as GM. In a city where we've had to watch Tim Purpura and Ed Wade destroy the talent level on the Astros, I can't believe there are people out there who question and doubt Morey.

Sure, the T-Mac/Yao combination has yet to produce a playoff series victory. That's more of an unfortunate bit of timing and scheduling than a lack of talent. Does anyone doubt the Rockets would have won at least a couple playoff series if they were shifted over to the Eastern Conference?

Along those lines, what is it that we can reasonably expect Morey to do? The Rockets had the 25th pick this year -- they were actually willing to trade *up* to acquire Donte Greene (according to all reports). Instead, Morey did his homework... traded *down* in the draft... still acquired the player he was targetting AND got more players/picks in the process. That's genius-quality stuff there. I just wish more people noticed and appreciated it!

And yet...

"How much do you trust the GM who got Landry as a second-round steal — and whiffed on his acquisitions of Steve Francis and Mike James?"

Let's break this down. Francis and James were acquired for next to nothing. We dumped Juwon Howard to get James. And we gave Francis as close to the minimum contract as possible without insulting the guy. They were calculated risks... which didn't pay off exactly. Though we did turn James into BobbyJ, and when Francis was healthy last year he had some very good moments in the 4th Q. One game against the Knicks he practically willed us to victory. And Francis is still on the roster... we have nothing to lose there. It's a complete freeroll.

But I guess the simple-minded fan is just sick of seeing this:

sure, yeah, from a macroscopic viewpoint, it sucks that the Rockets haven't delivered in the playoffs. It sucks that Morey isn't exactly the Wizard of Oz who can deliver T-Mac a heart. Or courage. And it sucks that Morey isn't a doctor who can magically heal Yao's freak injuries.

To that I say: be patient. Dynasties are not built overnight. The best transactions are the trades that don't make big headlines. And sometimes the smartest thing to do is to not make rash decisions that decimate the quality and character of a team and have decades-long impacts (see, e.g., Thomas, Isiah - New York Knicks 2003-2008). Our boy wonder GM is like a genius or something. He has given us every reason to believe he is trustworthy. The Rockets are going to make the playoffs barring another unexpected fluke series of injuries. And any "moves" to be done might better be completed in February than in July.

training camp starts in a few months... and I'm certain we will like what we see come November.

/end rant.


Eric said...

The average Rocket "fan", or really bandwagon fan, doesn't know shit about how the business of running a basketball team works. Things such as the salary cap are foreign to them. Thats why you hear shit like, "Why are the Rockets going after Brent Barry when Gilbert Arenas, Elton Brand, and Baron Davis are out there?". These "fans" think that 6 year old kids run other teams and that you can bribe them with lollipops to get them to accept shitty trades. This leads to comments like, "Hey let's trade Luther Head to the Cavs for LeBron James."

Basically they live in fantasy land. Daryl Morey sucks as a GM because our team doesn't resemble this year's Dream Team is their train of thought.

Now, true Rocket fans live in reality and realize the great moves that Daryl Morey has made. I have faith in him. Nothing significant will happen for the Rockets until the trade deadline rolls around. By then we can assess whether this team needs help or not.

Ray said...

Morey's doing a great job acquiring assets.

Most likely training camp roster

Rafer Alston
Aaron Brooks
Tracy McGrady
Brent Barry
Luther Head (expiring contract $2M)
Bobby Jackson (expiring contract $7M)
Steve Francis (expiring contract $2.5M)

Shane Battier
Luis Scola
Carl Landry
Chuck Hayes
Donte Greene
Joey Dorsey
Steve Novak
Marty Leunen (probably won't make team, D-League?)

Yao Ming
Dikembe Mutombo

Odd men out, possible in season replacements:
Mike Harris
Loren Woods

That's 16 on the roster (counting Landry and Deke and not counting Leunen).

Right now the Rockets hold some valuable expiring contracts with Jackson, Francis, and Head. I think the Barry signing frees the Rockets to make a deal with Jackson and/or Francis/Head or both. Probably better to hold on to those three for now until the trade deadline gets closer and teams can figure out if they want to get under the cap or are contenders. There's some interesting players at the $7M or $9M mark that may be able to help the Rockets down the stretch(Caron Butler of the Wizards looks enticing especially if the Wiz don't resign Arenas and the team goes in the tank).

For some reason, if Deke and Landry both resign, I think Dorsey's the odd man out. Maybe send him to the D-League this year to get some seasoning, working on an offensive game, learn how to shoot free throws, etc.

-The Rockets are bringing back a 55 win team that will hopefully have everybody back injury free.
-They will also have a second year in Adelman's system and even Bobby Jackson admitted it took him two years to learn the system in Sacramento.
-They added a decent role player who fits the team mold.
-They added some young projects that have time to develop for down the road.
-They have some assets that can be used as trade bait at the deadline to pick up an impact player down the stretch if need be (especially important with the fragility of the two superstars).

If anything, Morey's got all his bases covered and has a contending team as well. What more can you ask for from a GM.