Well, that review didn’t take long. Just a few days after it was reported that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s job was “under review”, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said yesterday on his weekly CNBC segment that Morey will in fact be back. Fertitta said:
“It begins and end with the general manager. That’s why you have a basketball operations team. They’ll make a recommendation to me. I’m the sign-off guy. I wouldn’t know how to interview a basketball coach. Daryl Morey’s job is safe. I’m sure he’s going to pick the right head coach.”
That’s got to be good news for Rockets fans. Despite the occasional misstep (and let’s be honest, what GM doesn’t have them?), Morey has been one of the best and shrewdest GMs in the league. It hasn’t resulted in a title, but he’s been close several times, and there’s no question that he’s always on the hunt for ways to improve the team and has been successful in getting stars into that Rockets uniform.
Does Morey hold some of the blame for this year’s failure to get it done? You bet. The whole team does, from the owner, to the former head coach, to every person in that locker room. But they took a gamble on an unorthodox approach.
Remember, Clint Capela was hurt. Agree with small ball or not, imagine not having Capela OR Robert Covington. Morey made the move to maximize this season (one of the last few of James Harden’s prime) — a bold move that is certainly up for scrutiny since it ultimately didn’t work out this year — but it would’ve have been a wasted year without the trade.
Morey went for it, and it fizzled in the second round. But it’s easier to find a lob threat out there than it is to find one of the highest-quality three-and-D guys in the league. Should they decide to re-embrace a more traditional approach, I’m certain Morey can find a capable big man.
He’s also been in a difficult situation with spending. It’s not much of a secret that Fertitta isn’t very interested in paying the tax, which has limited Morey’s flexibility somewhat.
While these may sound like excuses, it’s also reality. And I don’t think you can fire a guy like Morey without a real backup plan already in place. And Fertitta’s already admitted he doesn’t know how to interview a coach. Does that make you feel confident about a GM search?
Anyway, D’Antoni’s out. Morey’s in. And the offseason questions are quickly being answered.
Happy Morey’s back?
This poll is closed
Only if he brings us Luka