We all know how it goes with the Houston Rockets' offseasons -- In Morey We Trust. There have been some dicey moments, most notably the failed wooing of Chris Bosh and the Chandler Parsons departure, but especially in the wake of a Conference Finals appearance, every Rockets fan can appreciate the caliber of franchise that GM Daryl Morey has built. Yet we still may not appreciate the amount of maneuvering that has gone into this roster.
Austin Peters of Hardwood Paroxysm has done fantastic legwork in tracing every single player's path to the Rockets roster, with every asset exchanged, no matter how small. If you're an offseason nerd, it's pure heroin. It's also impossibly complex. This is James Harden's transaction flow chart (try not to have your eyes glaze over):
As you may know, only four players currently on the Rockets got here without something else going out in return: Dwight Howard (free agent), Clint Capela (Rockets' own draft pick), Patrick Beverley (free agent) and Marcus Thornton (free agent). Everyone else has a paper trail. Here's just one of the simpler ones.
Trevor Ariza was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Washington Wizards, along with Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson. Hopson and Gee were sent to Sacramento in exchange for Jason Terry and two second-round picks, one from the 2015 draft that was sent to Minnesota to get Corey Brewer, and one from the 2016 draft. But that's just one prong of a three-team deal with the Pelicans -- the one in which the Rockets traded Omri Casspi and Omer Asik for the pick that became Sam Dekker.
It would be provincial to assume that no one else makes deals this intricate, but impossible to believe that it's commonplace. There are trades of picks several years into the future (and of the rights to European players several years in the past), and leveraging expert knowledge of the salary cap to take on and dump dead money as needed.
Again, it's high-grade nerdery, but if it's up your alley, you're going to love diggin in here, if only to find out how Marcus Camby was turned into Ty Lawson, or how many times Morey's fleeced the Knicks.