The Houston Rockets aren’t exactly cleaning house after getting bounced in the second round to the Los Angeles Lakers, but they are looking to straighten up the place.
According the Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes and his sources, Rockets GM Daryl Morey “will be under review (...) by owner Tilman Fertitta.” This news came just a few moments after former head coach Mike D’Antoni said he will not return to Houston next season.
If you read “will be under review” and immediately panicked, don’t do that just yet. If anything, it’s probably just a formality. Fertitta is a businessman first and foremost, so just think of the GM getting evaluated after the end of their season as the owner of a company looking at their quarterly finances or some other business thing that makes more sense.
There’s a ton of things to consider here before even thinking that Fertitta lets Morey go. For instance, he allowed for Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington trade, thus completely trusting Morey with the team’s future and complete basketball identity overhaul. Morey signed a five-year contract extension in 2019, and it’s unlikely that Fertitta wants to pay two people for the same job over the next four seasons. The Rockets still maintain a very small-ball lineup, and it’ll be difficult to bring in another person to either better the identity or completely change it, all while trying to find a new head coach to exact their plan.
Lastly, and the most obvious of all, Morey is still a great GM.
Since Morey joined the Rockets in 2007, he’s had a ton of success with the team, including reaching the Western Conference finals twice and getting deals done to acquire James Harden, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook. Morey has never posted a losing record as the Rockets GM, has made the playoffs every year since acquiring generational player James Harden, and he won the 2018 Executive of the Year award.
If the Rockets got rid of Morey now, not only would they be getting rid of one of the best general managers of the past 15 years, but they’ll once again be looking at completely redesigning this team.