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[USA Today] Rockets GM Daryl Morey happy with roster after trade

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by J.R., Feb 7, 2020.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Post-deadline Q&A

    Rockets GM Daryl Morey happy with roster after trade: 'We feel very comfortable we can beat the Lakers'

    Shortly after the NBA trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon, Morey spoke to USA TODAY Sports explaining why he feels otherwise. Below is an edited portion of his Q&A.

    What do you think the trade does?

    Morey: "We’re obviously excited. Covington is a guy we’ve been trying to get for a long time. (Coach) Mike (D'Antoni) has really figured out how to most maximize our two superstars and style of play. We’re excited to put it on the floor and start beating up on people."

    How did you weigh the pros and cons of trading Capela?

    Morey: "Clint is a great player and great human. He was an amazing Rocket and is definitely going to be missed. Obviously he’s going to do great in Atlanta. The reason to do this is James Harden. I think the key to winning a championship is get superstars who are great players. We have that with Westbrook and Harden, and then get the right fit and the right style around them. With Mike’s approach with shooting and space, that’s where we’re at our best. Adding a Covington where we can shore up our perimeter defense and also be a top-notch shooter is a huge part of our ability to play that way. We’re ready to go to battle.

    "On offense, we think it’s a pace game, an athleticism game and it’s a shooting game. It’s spacing. It’s us having guys who are dynamic that can attack off the dribble. With defense, we think you have to start at the perimeter and be solid there. Unfortunately, rim protection is really difficult these days with the rules that they are if a guy is getting downhill. It’s very hard even if the center is back to handle that. You have to cut off penetration at the start with a strong perimeter and then get the rebound and get out and go."

    You said two months ago you did not think you would make a deal. What changed your sentiments?

    Morey: "It was really just Covington becoming available. We’ve been working on that for a long time. We thought he’d be a perfect piece to play the style we thought would be best for two superstars on our roster. Clint is an extremely good player and one we did not want to give up. But it was required in this deal. Without the perfect piece for how we wanted to play becoming available, Clint would still be here. That was really the only way to get this done."

    How significant were the luxury tax savings?

    (Capela has three years worth $51.3 million left on his contract after this season; Covington has two years worth $25 million left on his deal after this season.)

    Morey: "None. I was happy because it gave us a window to add someone. But no one was moving any players in that window, unfortunately, that we thought could help us."

    Have you gotten the message from up top about trimming on luxury taxes?

    Morey: "No. Actually, I’m being totally up front. I was getting strong encouragement to go the other way."

    Really?

    Morey: "Yeah. Absolutely. Ownership incorrectly gets beat up. We operate like every other team in the NBA. When you’re a contender, you’re right around the luxury tax line. That’s how we’ve always operated. That’s how we’ve operated since I’ve been here since 2006. We still have a huge payroll in the league. I know people like to focus on it. But that’s a weird thing. Focus on the team on the floor. If people don’t like that we don’t have a big man or don’t like how we play, that’s fine. But judge us for how we are. Judge us on our wins and losses. We’ve had one of the best records in the league for 10-14 years and have been a perennial playoff contender. We got an exciting roster with top players. I would talk about that. I don’t understand why people are focused on the other stuff."

    Where do you see the Rockets being in the mix among the other Western Conference contenders?

    Morey: "We feel very good. Vegas just came out. We’re the third favorite to win the title. So clearly, a pretty objective source thinks we’re pretty damn good. We want to get home-court in the playoffs as long as we can get it. We feel pretty good down the stretch to position ourselves well for the playoffs. As much as people want to say, 'How will you handle this guy or that big guy?' I say the other coach is even more afraid sitting there wondering how the hell are they going to play their big guy who has no one to guard."

    Even with saying that, what do you think your top needs are on the buyout market?

    Morey: "Honestly, we’re just going for best player. We like how we’re playing. People are saying, 'You have to get a big this or a big that.' But we’re going for the best player. If that’s a big, we’ll go grab it and figure out if he can fit into our style. If it’s a wing, we’ll do that. We feel very comfortable with our roster. We like where we’re at. We think this is a team that can win the championship. But if we can add a good player in the buyout market, we’ll do it. But we’re not counting on the buyout market."

    What were your expectations with the Harden-Westbrook pairing and how have you seen it play out?

    Morey: "We’re thrilled. We wanted to get our pace up. Westbrook has single-handedly done that. If we want to play this small style, which we did, we knew we needed to have guards that could switch with Russ, Eric and James. We knew we needed to have guards who were also strong and could rebound. Obviously Russ is pretty famous for being the best rebounding guard ever probably. We have the roster to unlock how we’re playing. We have it even more now with Robert Covington. We really feel like this is the direction the NBA is going to be going. Just like everyone was scratching their heads wondering why we’re shooting 50 3s a couple of years ago and saying we can’t win anything, we almost knocked off the Warriors. Now they will wonder why they have a 5 who has no one they can guard on the floor.”

    What’s the goal now for 3s?

    Morey: "However they get it. You’re sort of screwed guarding us. If you cut off penetration, we’re going to take a lot of 3s. You try to take away the 3-pointers, we’re going to get a lot at the rim. Hopefully how many we take is dictated by the opponent a little bit."

    Even if you like this deal, do you have any concerns moving forward beyond health?

    Morey: "No, we’re comfortable with this roster, obviously. It’s very tough competition in the West. The Lakers deserve to be called the favorites. They play better than anyone to this point. They’re playing unbelievable basketball at both ends. So they’re the favorite. We’re in a group with the Clippers, Utah and Denver and the other top contenders in the West to fight with them. But we feel very comfortable we can beat the Lakers. Right now, they deserve to be called the favorite in the West. Milwaukee, if we’re lucky to get enough to play them, is looking pretty tough in the East. It’s never an easy road in the West. It should be fun for us and the fans. We’re really excited to see what we can do. We’re comfortable with what we got."
     
  2. Juxtaposed Jolt

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    That's the best quote.
     
    DeBeards, Tfor3, bilaal14 and 11 others like this.
  3. ashleyem

    ashleyem Member

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    Can Morey stop being cocky for once?
     
  4. Cstyle42

    Cstyle42 Member

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    I admit it... I still want them to sign a big out the buyout market. Like the team though.
     
  5. treyk3

    treyk3 Contributing Member

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    This is conjecture. He's finally not broadcasting what he's going to do.

    Morey knows this team needs big bodies for this grind. Not for the playoffs but for the remaining 30 games. This is going to work but we cannot risk too much wear and tear on PJ and RoCo.
     
  6. Corrosion

    Corrosion Member

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    Morey and MDA will either come out the hero or the goat ....


    Have to wonder what the future holds for either of them if they come up short. I really don't think you take on this kind of risk if your job isn't on the line.
     
  7. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Daryl once again going to bat for his boss.

    My guess is he is hoping Tillman will validate his parking so he doesn’t have to keep paying Landry’s $20 a day to go to work.

    “Alright Daryl. We will start validating your parking costs up to $20 a day Monday through Friday but you have to park in the back lot.”

    “Great!”

    “Oh Daryl, parking isn’t $20 a day anymore. Inflation, it will be $50 a day now. So you can give me $30 for today’s parking. Hell I’ll take a check from you, we’re good... make it out for $35.... cost of handling a check.”
     
  8. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Morey always toes the company line in the press, but if you look at the moves under Tillman - Lux Tax savings is clealry a priority.

    DD
     
  9. Andre0087

    Andre0087 Member

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    Morey: "No. Actually, I’m being totally up front."

    Sounds legit...
     
  10. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    Yep, Morey and Tilman know how to b.s. the press about the luxury tax. "Absolutely not." Sweat on upper lip. "Who told you that? Windhorst? That fat slob." Sweat mustache. "I should sue, that's defamation."
     
  11. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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  12. aliadiere25

    aliadiere25 Member

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    In other words..... Tilman is cheap as hell and wants to keep on saving till he eventually sells the team for decent profit in a few years.
     
    AroundTheWorld likes this.
  13. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    "Unfortunately, rim protection is really difficult these days with the rules that they are if a guy is getting downhill. It’s very hard even if the center is back to handle that. You have to cut off penetration at the start with a strong perimeter ..."

    That sounds like a pretty good window into Morey's thinking about this era of officiating and its effects on the value of Capela, Westbrook, and Covington.
     
  14. ReturnOfTheMac

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    In Morey we trust
     
    Lawlruschang and D-rock like this.
  15. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    maurley:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. bmd

    bmd Member

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    Or maybe he’s just telling the truth.
     
  17. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    How significant were the luxury tax savings?

    (Capela has three years worth $51.3 million left on his contract after this season; Covington has two years worth $25 million left on his deal after this season.)

    Morey: "None. I was happy because it gave us a window to add someone. But no one was moving any players in that window, unfortunately, that we thought could help us."

    Have you gotten the message from up top about trimming on luxury taxes?

    Morey: "No. Actually, I’m being totally up front. I was getting strong encouragement to go the other way."

    Really?

    Morey: "Yeah. Absolutely. Ownership incorrectly gets beat up. We operate like every other team in the NBA. When you’re a contender, you’re right around the luxury tax line. That’s how we’ve always operated. That’s how we’ve operated since I’ve been here since 2006. We still have a huge payroll in the league. I know people like to focus on it. But that’s a weird thing. Focus on the team on the floor. If people don’t like that we don’t have a big man or don’t like how we play, that’s fine. But judge us for how we are. Judge us on our wins and losses. We’ve had one of the best records in the league for 10-14 years and have been a perennial playoff contender. We got an exciting roster with top players. I would talk about that. I don’t understand why people are focused on the other stuff."
    ............................

    Daryl paying lip service to The Lip, who signs his checks. Having said that, I really enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks, @J.R. We're lucky to have Daryl Morey. Long may he remain, assuming his sanity can survive Fertitta.
     
  18. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Yeah... no.

    What do you expect Daryl to say?

    “Yeah it’s pretty bad. I had it set up multiple times so we could easily add salary and the owner said no. Honestly pretty disappointing but you know my family has lived here for 15 years and all my relationships are here so I don’t really want to lose my job. The JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple trade was the first thing I thought of when we lost to Golden State. We could have kept Clint if we had held on to Anderson and dealt him and the picks we wasted moving Anderson and still ended up with Covington. Ohhh well. What can you do?”
     
  19. bmd

    bmd Member

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    No, but he could have weaseled his way around it like he’s done with many questions in the past. He flat out said not only was that not the case, but it’s the exact opposite.
     
  20. Nook

    Nook Member

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    There is no weaseling around that question and he has always gone to bat for the owner... and it is smart to do so. I have never seen him weasel around any questions about ownership.
     
    Relativist, Gray_Jay, Deuce and 2 others like this.
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