The Houston Rockets made a number of moves this offseason and essentially dismantled their roster. Every move was made with one thing in mind, getting Dwight Howard to Houston. After an offseason shakeup that saw Houston lose Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Samuel Dalembert, Luis Scola and Chase Budinger, the Rockets are still sitting here today without Superman. Daryl Morey is considered a smart General Manager and perhaps he has a Plan B, but it’s clear when looking at the roster, the Rockets can’t compete once again in the Western Conference. Maybe they will build around Jeremy Lin, maybe some of their young first round picks will emerge, but this offseason looks like a disaster for Houston. Daryl Morey joined KBME in Houston with Charlie Pallilo to talk about how he feels about the Rockets heading into this season, if he agrees with Orlando GM Rob Hennigan when he says the Rockets were harder to trade with because of some of the contract situations with Houston, whether he feels the Rockets ever got close to getting a deal done for Dwight Howard, if he thinks the agents are involved too much in negotiations nowadays and if the Rockets plan to make other moves heading into this season.
On how he feels about his team heading into this season:
“We’re very comfortable with where we are set up in terms of we feel very good about our young players. Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lamb, (Patrick) Patterson, (Marcus) Morris, (Terrence) Jones, Royce White, (Donatas) Motejunas and I’m going to miss a few but every move we did, we made to either set ourselves up for a move like this or to have ourselves in a good situation even if it didn’t happen.”
Rob Hennigan at a press conference, when asked specifically about dealing with the Rockets, he said the offer sheets that you all had out there made it more difficult to deal with you, do you think that’s accurate?
“I haven’t seen Rob’s comments. I think those deals were done for a while now so that would surprise me but really the only opinion that matters is Rob’s. If he felt like that made it difficult then it was difficult right? At the end of the day he has the player that he was trading that everyone wanted and there are a whole host of things that either made it positive or more difficult for them and how they value things. I really think in these big trades it often comes down to how people value individual players in the deal. Last year when we did the big trade we found a partner in the Hornets and they were a team that obviously really liked the players they were getting in that deal. In this case Orlando really liked the players they were getting in that deal. That’s all that matters and I think Rob Hennigan is an unbelievable executive and going to be in the league for a very long time. He made the best deal for Orlando and that is all there is to it.”
Whether he feels the Rockets ever got close to getting a deal done for Dwight Howard:
“I do, yeah. I do feel like it was close but they did their diligence and they were searching for something they thought they liked even more and they liked this trade better than anything we could offer. I promise you Rob knows what he’s doing and he thought this was best for Orlando and I think people will see over time that he’s a very good executive.”
If he thinks the agents of players are too involved nowadays:
“I think they’re appropriately involved. It’s their job to look out for the best interest of their clients and I think the large majority of them do that and they do it well so I don’t have any issue with agents being involved. I think they’re doing what their clients are asking them to do which is try to get them to the best situation possible for them and I have no issue with that. It’s our job to make the situation here be attractive and I think it is.”
Whether the team will make other moves prior to the season:
“I think there’s a couple of free agents that we’re talking to and I don’t know if anything will work out but we’re very comfortable with what we have and rolling into training camp with that. We think it will be a team that can fight for a playoff spot but we’re always aggressive to try to do more and I think people know that. If something comes along we will do it but really the reason why we’re comfortable with where we are at is if you look from one to 15, up and down the roster, it’s either a player who has got upside, who gives us flexibility to have cap room or we have the ability to, with the draft picks we picked up from Toronto and Dallas and those teams, the ability to trade for something. But we’re going to be patient and it takes two to tango. It’s gotta be where what we have is a fit with other teams. Rob and Orlando did a very diligent job in doing what was best for them.”