I knew it was a mistake.
I knew that on a day where the Rockets passed the trade deadline without completely getting over on another team, it would be a mistake of epic proportions...but I did it anyway.
I, like a handful of others, made the mistake of turning on local sports radio yesterday after the deadline passed and again this morning. And, damn if it didn't make me want to pour battery acid all over myself.
Things were said as stupid as "We should have traded for Deron Williams" and "Why couldn't Daryl Morey just get Kendrick Perkins? This guy just sucks!"
After removing my face from my hands and deciding not to break the mirror in my bathroom and using a shard to cut my eardrums out, I finally decided to turn the radio off instead. Not because it was the better choice necessarily. It was just less work and clean up.
But just like the Matt Schaub hate that was prevalent on talk radio in Houston this past season, Daryl Morey seems to have gone from being infallible to a scapegoat. Just like that. And it's complete rubbish. Hit jump for some reasons why.
I was guilty for awhile of being as silly as everyone else thinking Daryl could do no wrong (Scola, the 2007 draft & the McGrady trade). I have also been guilty of criticizing some moves (Terrence Williams, Trevor Ariza & building around Yao) he has made during his tenure. But one thing I cannot criticize the guy for is his inability to lure a star in this past year.
I've gone on record several times saying that I thought the teams "assets" were greatly overrated by the Rockets fan base. Sure, a couple of extra picks are necessary in making a blockbuster move. Just like expiring contracts and young talent. But without teams looking to unload serious salary to make cap space for a huge free agent class, no one was biting this year. Yet people are whining that he wasn't able to reel in Deron, Melo or Perkins? All three of those guys were traded for MUCH better trade packages than Morey would have been able to put together. But I am sure that Daryl gave them a call just to see. Problem is, there just wasn't enough on this roster to raise any eyebrows.
No one wants Kevin Martin, Brad Miller or Luis Scola with their existing contracts. No one aside from some homers in Houston think Chase Budinger or Jordan Hill are valuable assets. No one cared about Jared Jeffries and Yao Ming's expiring contract (and Yao's even had insurance money taking care of it). So to expect Morey to have been able to reel one of those guys in was just absurd given what he had to work with.
The final argument I'm hearing from those piling on Morey the past couple of months is how the team has had minimal success since he's been here, regardless of favorable transactions. But the team that he has built given his restrictions is quite remarkable. Let us take a look at some of the crap he had on the roster when he took over GM responsibilities in 2007.
- Juwan Howard
- Rafer Alston
- Bonzi Wells
- Luther Head
- Kirk Snyder
- Tracy McGrady (always injured with a max contract)
- Yao Ming (always injured with a max contract)
I could keep going, but I'll end your suffering.
So, he built this roster he currently has with all that trash AND had absolutely zero cap space to work with. And with the buyout yesterday of Jared Jeffries bloated deal, all the bad contracts are now gone and he has accumulated six potential first round picks in the next three years. That's quite remarkable.Especially when you look at all the young talent now on the roster.
Even if those drafts are weak, look at the blockbuster deals that went down at the deadline. All of them involved numerous picks and prospects. Daryl is setting this team up for the future and he is doing it nicely. No, Hasheem Thabeet isn't likely to be the future. Nor is Goran Dragic. But the picks that came attached to both of those trades will be.
It is now clear that the outlook for this team is a rebuild, not a reload. Rick Adelman is likely to retire and I don't blame him. Les Alexander is still willing to go over the luxury tax and Daryl Morey keeps stockpiling assets towards the future. So to criticize the guy because he couldn't make filet mignon out of ground beef isn't looking at the big picture. This team is very far away from competing and we all know it. So stop bashing the guy because he couldn't pull off a miracle Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown type deal.
Patience is the key to a rebuild and we're going to need a lot of it. Especially with star players trying to dictate and run the league now by choosing where they go and only wanting to play with their buddies in the big and flashy markets. But I'm excited to see what Daryl can build this team into without bad contracts, ego-maniacal divas and some actual cap space. You should be too.
Just don't expect it to happen overnight.