Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey resigned last week. No big deal -- just another executive evacuating his job and leaving someone else to clean up the mess he left behind, right?
Morey’s teams were terrific in the regular season, but never made it to the NBA Finals. He was an innovator with his statistical analysis and the whole league is now employing a lot of the strategies the Rockets have used. He made more trades than anyone else and wasn’t afraid to take chances. And every team in the league is now employing analytics to one degree or another -- thanks to Morey.
And I guess those are some of the reasons a lot of Trail Blazers fans are trying to make a case for Morey joining the Trail Blazers. A few thoughts on that:
- Much of what has made Morey successful is no longer an advantage for him. Other teams have stolen it. I’m sure he will continue to innovate, but the edge he once had in analytics is no longer there. Every team now features an analytics department. We all know the value of three-point field goals, too.
- Being gutsy enough to make trades isn’t necessarily a positive. Big trades can lead to big mistakes. Doing things just for the sake of doing things is not a good course of action.
- Case in point. The Chris Paul-for-Russell Westbrook deal was a disaster. Yeah, you can tell me that James Harden and Paul could no longer co-exist, but that doesn’t mean you have to trade him for a worse player on a worse contract.
- Houston has not made a pick in the first round of the draft since 2015 and controls its own first pick just two times in the next seven seasons. The Rocket roster is full of nasty contracts and it is getting older.
- In case you haven’t noticed, Houston does not have a center.
- This is the residue of the Morey regime and it’s a not-so-hot mess.
- And oh yes, he sent out a tweet that cost the NBA its lucrative deal with China television.
- Funny coincidence, though. CCTV in China aired Game 5 of the NBA Finals, after not showing the league on broadcast TV for more than a year. And soon after that, Morey announced his resignation. Coincidence? Probably. But I assume conspiracy theorists will certainly wonder if the NBA made a deal to sit Morey out for a season to rekindle its relationship with all that money flowing in from China.
- OK, as far as Morey in Portland… Unless he can bring a magic potion that will keep players from getting injured, I don’t see it. Look, I understand your frustration, Trail Blazers fans, but you certainly must understand that the NBA isn’t fair. Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers have combined to win almost half the championships in league history and only 10 of the 30 teams in the league have won more than one championship. The NBA playing field has never been level and probably never will be. That’s the truth and you better accept it and understand how difficult -- almost impossible -- it’s going to be to win another one in Portland. Either accept that or keep bashing your head against a wall.
- I’m not saying a title isn’t the goal. I’m saying you better enjoy the regular-season success (which has been consistent under Neil Olshey) and the spectacular play of Damian Lillard while you can.
- As Houston is about to find out in the next few seasons, things can easily get a lot worse.