For the first time in Daryl Morey’s tenure as general manager of the Houston Rockets, the team decided to not make a trade at the league’s trade deadline.
With the Rockets’ signing of Gerald Green in December, Morey felt there was little to do with the roster and did not want to unload any of the players so he could maintain the team’s chemistry. Signing Green was his “deadline deal.”
Coming into the day, only a few small trades had been finalized and it was looking as if today would not feature many fireworks. However, the deadline was dominated by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who dumped half of its roster to try and restore the season.
The Cavs acquired Rodney Hood and George Hill in a three-team deal with the Jazz and Kings, while also acquiring Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Lakers. The team parted ways with six of their players including former All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who was the central piece in the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer.
Desperate times called for desperate measures for the Cavs, who have now just possibly earned a seat at the table of the contenders. The table of contenders had a seat with the Rockets’ name on it, and that has not changed after their idle deadline. Cleveland needed to make these moves in order to try and get to the Rockets’ caliber. There is no guarantee the Cavs will succeed.
Houston sits a mere half-game out of first place for the best record in the entire league. Teams are making deals to try to chase the Rockets and the Rockets are at a level they feel is worthy enough of a championship.
This does not mean they will not be active in the buyout market, headlined by Joe Johnson among several established veterans, but the team did not need to swing a trade in order to improve the roster. Very little needs to be done in order to improve the roster because the roster is already at an incredibly high standard.