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What is Morey Looking for in the Draft?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by finsraider, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    This question has confounded me. The Rockets are one of the most unpredictable organizations in professional sports. No matter how hard I research players pre draft, I never get close to the actual picks.

    But I feel like I learned something after this draft. Looking at Dekker and Harrell, and comparing them to previous picks and player acquisitions, there seems to be a pattern emerging.

    This is not comprehensive, and I'm sure many of you can add other qualities that I've missed, but here's what I've come up with:

    1) Quick feet - When is the last time Morey drafted a player with slow feet? Capela, DMo, Harrell, etc......all of those guys have good footwork and can move.

    2) Shooting can be taught - Dekker, Harrell, Johnson, Capela, Jones, White Parsons....none of these guys were plus shooters when they were drafted. Not all have become good shooters, but it's obviously a skill that the front office believes can be acquired through repetition.

    3) Length - Morey said in an interview that they really like length, especially when guarding the perimeter. So let's look at some wingspans:

    Dekker: 7'0"
    Harrell: 7'5"
    Capela: 7'5"
    N Johnson: 6'7"
    Cannan: 6'5"
    T Jones: 7'3"
    R White: 7'0"
    Lamb: 7'0"

    You get the point. While it is normal for NBA players to have longer wingspans than their height, many of these guys have it to the absolute extreme. Harrell, Capela, Nick Johnson, TJones, and Lamb have MASSIVE wingspans relative to their size. I read some stuff about how Dekker's shorter wingspan could limit his upside, but then looked it up..........even he gets out to 7 feet. DMo is really the only exception to this.

    4) Finishing at the rim: Someone else posted this, but I'll repeat: Dekker and Harrell were two of the top 3 finishers in college around the rim.....the other was Okafor. This is somewhat the reverse of what was mentioned earlier about shooting: while it seems decent shooting can be developed, finishing around the rim cannot. You either have it or you don't.

    5) If you're small, you better be able to jump: AB, Budinger, Parsons, Lamb, Canaan, Johnson, Dekker......all SFs or guards, and all can jump. Tyus Jones, for all of his skills, can't do this.

    6) We prefer experience: Here's the classifications of Morey's picks since he took over.

    Brooks: Senior
    Landry: Junior
    Dorsey: Senior
    Leunen: Senior
    Taylor: Senior
    Budinger: Junior
    Patterson: Junior
    Morris: Junior
    Parsons: Senior
    Lamb: Sophomore
    White: Junior
    TJones: Sophomore
    Canaan: Senior
    NJohnson: Junior
    Dekker: Junior
    Harrell: Junior

    Some of this is just a function of where the Rockets have been in the draft (i.e. not at the top), but its more than that. Even the euros had multiple years in professional leagues before we drafted them. It seems we want to see a pattern of development and stability.

    7) We prefer forwards over guards: Consider this....Aaron Brooks is the ONLY guard we've taken in the 1st round under Morey's oversight, and even he was at #26.

    Feel free to add your own thoughts. These are what have caught my eye, and what I will look for going forward.
     
    4 people like this.
  2. micah1j

    micah1j Member

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    you also made the argument, or explained how operating under the cap would look. This draft looked like a team operating under the cap. Morey say the Rockets are still likely operating over the cap though. Dekker can replace Brewer if he leaves and a college player with #32 Harrell you prefer to sign to a longer contract which requires cap space or MLE use.

    I'm not convinced Morey has made up his mind, or at least hasn't clearly showed his hand on operating over or under the cap.
     
  3. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member
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    Really nice post, finsraider. Repped.
     
  4. bongman

    bongman Member

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    It's no secret that DM wants to get more athletic. The physical traits you mentioned fits that. With regards to length, that seems to be the formula that made the Thunders a really good team.

    As far as position, he always talks about getting "the steal". This seems to be the biggest driving factor in his decisions (bad or good). He he will try to get what he thinks is the best player available regardless of position.
     
  5. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    He is looking for elite athleticism, and guys who can defend or play multiple positions

    That is why he took Dorsey over Deandre Jordan and Mook Busty Morris over Kawhi Leonard and elite Royce Anxiety White SMH
     
  6. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    Nice post, OP.

    The game has really changed. The traditional notions that a center had to be 7 feet tall and a PF 6'10" have been replaced by players that can be versatile and athletic. Just look at the Warriors best lineup in the Finals and you saw Bogut glued to the bench. The series did not change in favor of the Warriors until they went smaller, but more athletic.
     
  7. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    It's hard to tell whether Morey consciously pick non shooters. But it's interesting how he got rid of most of the good shooters he drafted - Lamb, Canaan, Daniels, just on top of my head.

    ... and we all were crying for shooters in the playoffs.

    The cynical me would say, maybe Morey intentionally picks short guys to show off their extreme wingspans. :grin:

    Most of the players we have now are pretty bad at finishing at the rim, at least from the eye test.

    This should be expected with a guy who relies heavily on analytics. You need data to analyze, the more the better. And the more a player plays at a high level of competition, the better you can judge his abilities by the numbers he generates.

    Maybe be Morey is allergic to young PGs. If you are a PG and want to stay on the team, you must be 35 or older. :grin: To be serious, I doubt that it is intentional. BPA is by far the most important rule in Morey's draft choices. Perhaps forwards' numbers show up better in his grid and therefore he tends to value forwards more than guards.
     
  8. malakas

    malakas Member

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    I also take from this that morrey doesnt make promises he doesnt draft based onneed even if the need is a gaping hole and the team is seriously contending for championship and he is not blindky looking at what the analytics tell him to draft. I already thought these but this draft basically confirmed it.
     
  9. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    Good post, OP.

    Agreed. Been saying this a while, and it's just one of the reasons we'll never get Rubio.
     
  10. JoeBarelyCares

    JoeBarelyCares Contributing Member

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    Tried to rep but I must spread some more around first.
     
  11. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    I agree.....depending on how things swing, I still would not be surprised if we dipped under the cap.

    Going under the cap is not as big a deal as some make it out to be. Even if you can only create $10 million in space, that still gives you the flexibility to sign Llull, keep Beverley, keep KJ McDaniels, sign Harrell, and bring back Josh Smith to a similar offer you would've given him with non-bird rights (using the Room MLE).

    The only advantage to staying over is the ability to keep Brewer (who according to some is looking for a big deal we almost certainly won't offer) and using Papanikolaou and Prigioni's salaries in a big trade for Love or Aldridge.

    I am fine with staying over the cap IF we use Papa/Prig in a trade for Lowry and keep our MLE to sign KJ/Harrell.....otherwise, I don't think it's worth it.
     
  12. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    It's a question that's always been at the back of my mind, and I'm slowly realizing that the answer is no.....a player that doesn't finish around the rim now won't learn to in the future. Too much of it is based on size, athleticism, and feel....which aren't really developed skills.

    Look at Dwight: 10 plus years in the league and he still can't dominant with his back to the basket. Yet DMo, who hasn't been in the NBA near as long as Dwight, is infinitely better.

    You either have it or you don't.
     
  13. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    I think you overcomplicated it a bit.

    Morey is simple, pursue star and/or find undervalued, highest value. That's it.
     
  14. marky :)

    marky :) Member
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    He simplified it if anything.
     
  15. donkeypunch

    donkeypunch Contributing Member

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    I know in at least the second rounds, Morey looks for one elite skill a player has more so than an all around skill set. That way he can bring them in for cheap and let them work and develop their other areas that are lacking in the d league.
     
  16. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    All of those attributes are expected to be found with undervalued guys. There's a reason they're undervalued. So it's irrelevant to look at physical attributes for patterns for example.

    The pattern is stars and value. Now that's simplified.
     
  17. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    A little circular logic there.
     
  18. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    Yea in one word, VALUE.
     
  19. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't spend too much thinking about it. Just when you think you have it figured out they'll knock you for a loop. BPA is the secret. Certainly all things being equal you then look positional. I think Dekker met that criteria. Some had him a little lower but most had him going before 18. I think it's BPA and if he fits a need that's a big bonus.
     
  20. IvanLCPM

    IvanLCPM Member

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    Good thread. It's really nice to know we have one of the most talented GM's running our team.
     
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