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Carl Herrera is online now Old 07-08-2012, 12:31 AM   #1
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Morey comments highlighted below:

http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterocket...ard-direction/

Quote:
After a sometimes agonizing, often surprising and uncertain start to free agency, the Rockets’ version of “Star Search” on Sunday moves to the court.

If nothing else, that part should be more fun.

There had been ample clues of the Rockets’ long-term strategies since it became clear Yao Ming would not be walking through any locker-room door. After years of trying to build around him, every move switched to positioning to replace him.

That never became more obvious than this past week when the Rockets traded Kyle Lowry, drew the line on negotiations with Goran Dragic and prepared to let Marcus Camby and Courtney Lee walk, all in the name of retooling to chase a signature star.

When the Rockets’ summer league camp opens Sunday at Toyota Center, the hope to find their next star shifts closer to home and to an effort to build that sort of player for themselves.

The summer league roster includes six players drafted by the team in the past two seasons. The Rockets’ hope is that with more players will come a greater chance of a breakthrough.

“We have four ways to get a foundational, franchise player,” general manager Daryl Morey said. “One is through our players on our roster who have that ability to reach that level reaching it. One is trade. One is free agency. And one is through the draft.

“We think every roster spot and rotation spot is precious and every one of them, or nearly every one of them, needs to either have a chance to develop into a star or leave us flexible to acquire a star with cap room or through other means.”

The hope that someone among last year’s picks — Marcus Morris, Donatas Motiejunas and Chandler Parsons — or last month’s selections — Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones — grows into the sort of All-Star the Rockets lack represents a change in outlook.

When the Rockets had players they considered able to lead a contender, they sought to surround them with solid veterans. Without those stars, they have moved the veterans to try to bolster their search for a star.

“While we had Yao Ming, every transaction was how do we make the team better around Yao Ming because we thought with him we had a legitimate shot of being a contender,” Morey said. “Every transaction since we knew Yao Ming was no longer going to play for us, which was more recent than people talk about, has been focused on how does this move us closer to getting a star player.”


Change in tactics

The most vivid examples of the change of direction could be the draft-night trade when Morey first joined the team and this week’s trade of Lowry. Before Morey had succeeded Carroll Dawson as general manager, the Rockets traded the eighth pick of the draft for Shane Battier. Last week, they traded Lowry for a pick that could be roughly the eighth pick of a draft.

In between, the Rockets dealt draft pick Donte’ Greene and a future pick for the short-term help of Ron Artest, getting their only playoff series win since 1997. The past two seasons, they traded Battier, Aaron Brooks, Jordan Hill and Lowry, all to get extra picks.

“When you’re close and have a foundational piece, you should be willing to give up picks and overpay players, whatever it takes while you have that precious foundation to get better,” Morey said. “When you don’t have a foundational piece to build around, you should do every move in reverse, which is how does each move get us closer to getting a star, how does it get us more cap room, how does it get us more high picks and how does it get us more players with potential.”

Scola being shopped


The exception could be veterans who help young players reach that potential. But even then, Morey said those veterans have to “accept the culture, don’t hurt our ability to have cap room to acquire players with more star potential and who don’t block in a significant way one of the young players from playing.”

That last stipulation would indicate that on a team with seven power forwards, veteran starter Luis Scola no longer fits. The Rockets have shopped Scola, 32, several individuals with knowledge of talks said, but a deal would have to protect cap room. A sign-and-trade that moves Camby likely would have to bring back another pick, a young prospect or both.

Until then, the first wave of additions hits the floor Sunday, with hopes that a star will surface.

“We have those players up and down the roster,” Morey said. “As a collective group, they have solid potential to have an All-Star emerge.”
My thoughts:

1. I think this explain the "WTF are they doing" questions. They are looking for a foundation star, whether by trade (Dwight Howard) or, failing that, by internal development and other means. These things have been said before, but are worth noting again.

2. Morey's comments are a good explanation on the "why did we let good players like Dragic, Lee, Camby, etc. go?" question. Makes sense to me: If you already have a contending team, it's worth locking someone like Courtney Lee up on a long term contract at market rate. However, when you are not a contender, you have to be more careful about tying up your cap space on a guy like him.

3. I found that last comment interesting-- the part about a veteran should not block a young player from playing. I wonder if this signals their willingness to give young guys "developmental/entitlement minutes" perhaps even when they are not quite ready to be competitive in the NBA and are not as good as the veteran in front of them.

The last few years, the Rockets have not shied away from giving young players like Parsons, Patterson, Brooks, Landry, etc. minutes when they are ready, but have also played vets (or relative vets) like Scola, Martin, Dalembert and Camby plenty. They've also not been shy about benching young guys like Morris and Terrence Williams. I wonder if Morey's comments means that the team (barring a Dwight Howard trade) is willing to go full youth movement by either making a concerted effort to play young guys ahead of veterans or even by trading away vets like Scola and Martin and only bring in the "mentor types" who are not bothered about limited minutes and transitioning into a future coaching role (maybe guys like Juwan Howard, Nazr Mohammed, etc.?).

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teebone21 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 12:43 AM   #2
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i just want to see the rookies on court in vids tomorrow! Morey has his plans and has 2 months to complete
 
johnstarks is offline Old 07-08-2012, 12:50 AM   #3
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I agree 100% with this strategy: do everything to obtain a foundational star if you don't have one and if you do have one, maximize the star's potential if you do have one.

It's so hard to get a star, you really have to maximize the chances at getting lucky. And given that drafting really is a crap shoot, you really have to try to roll as many dice as you can in hopes of turning up one really good piece. Once you've got that locked down, you can fill in the guys who are good, but not quite transformational players. Dragic is potentially really good, but he's not going to be the guy who will really be the #1 player on a contender. So if he re-signs great, but not at the expense of the flexibility to get the star. I'm glad we're going all in in trying to get the star now. Hope the young players start to get some real PT. But we'll need to get rid of Martin and Scola to do that.
 
Corpusfan is offline Old 07-08-2012, 12:56 AM   #4
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That's more than interesting. It's the best explanation of what's going on and the team's strategy that I've heard. And it's straight from the horse's mouth -- none of this conjecture about who's holding who back (Alexander/Morey), etc. It's nice to confirm that all of these moves are calculated and not desperate or settling. This raises my opinion of Morey. Great read.
 
Aruba77 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting this CH! This is by far the most reassuring thing I've heard out of the organization in a long time. I pretty much agree with everything Morey said, and like you I do take his comments as a sign that if we are not successful trading for Drama Dwight, there's a good chance we focus on developing our young talent. His comments seemed to squash the fear that Clutch was writing about (which I also share) that absent Howard, we'll try and acquire a 2nd tier guy like Gasol just to stay competitive. Morey's comments suggest a full rebuild if we can't land Howard. It also suggests that Martin and Scola's days are numbered as Rockets. I was also glad to hear that he thinks there's a chance for one of our young players to emerge as a star, which gives me the impression that we will try and find out what we have unless some amazing opportunity comes along.

In short...I really needed to hear this. I have a lot more confidence that the organization will do the right thing and truly rebuild. In Morey we trust!

Very eager to find out what we can get out of the bird rights to Camby and Lee. Also can't wait to see what happens with Martin and Scola.
 
Ottomaton is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:01 AM   #6
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I agree with and like his approach in theory.

I have to say, in his place, I don't think I'd have been diciplined enough to let Dragic walk in the name of the plan. I think that sets him apart from most of the NBA (and most of the world for that matter), as well.

Whether that is a good or bad distinction, I'm not 100% positive.

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Trackball is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:03 AM   #7
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Yep.
In Morey We Trust.
This is why.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephnicks View Post
the rockets have gone 280-167 since moreys been GM.. he assembled the best rockets team weve had in years when he stole artest from the kings, he stole scola from the spurs.. and has maintained a roster that plays above .500 without a superstar let alone an all-star, yet this guy cant catch a break because he cant convince some spoiled diva superstars to play in houston. i think you guys need to relax.
 
everyday eddie is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:04 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting, great read.

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Aruba77 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottomaton View Post
I agree with and like his approach in theory.

I have to say, in his place, I don't think I'd have been diciplined enough to let Dragic walk in the name of the plan. I think that sets him apart from most of the NBA (and most of the world for that matter), as well.

Whether that is a good or bad distinction, I'm not 100% positive.
Yeah i agree about dragic. They set a price on him knowing exactly what he was and had the discipline not to pay one penny more. If we already had that foundational star, maybe they would have shelled out a little extra to surround him with excellent complimentary players like Dragic. But starting a rebuild by overpaying complimentary players and weakening your cap position is not a good strategy.

Love the fact that our GM is very open. We're lucky; a lot of other GMs are much more closed off.
 
Carl Herrera is online now Old 07-08-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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Martin, as we all know, wants out of here. He should be easy enough to trade given his expiring contract. But I wonder if they'd give him the "TMac treatment"-- i.e. not playing him and deal him at the trade deadline when the value of an "expiring contract" is the greatest if you are willing to absorb some future salary.

With Scola, I think you can probably play him some without hurting the "development" of the younger players-- if you want guys to "develop" you want them to play the right way and 5 inexperienced blind mice on the court at the same time might not be the best idea. But both out of respect for him (don't need him to spend his days playing for a team far from contention or even competitiveness) and the team, it is probably best to find him a home among the contenders if possible. Not sure where, though... Will Brooklyn have something to trade for him (S&T Kris Humphries, who can be redirected to a 3rd team)? Milwaukee if they lose out on Elyiasova? Atlanta? Maybe even Toronto to join Lowry and teach young Valanciunas?

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Aruba77 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Herrera View Post

With Scola, I think you can probably play him some without hurting the "development" of the younger players-- if you want guys to "develop" you want them to play the right way and 5 inexperienced blind mice on the court at the same time might not be the best idea. But both out of respect for him (don't need him to spend his days playing for a team far from contention or even competitiveness) and the team, it is probably best to find him a home among the contenders if possible. Not sure where, though... Will Brooklyn have something to trade for him (S&T Kris Humphries, who can be redirected to a 3rd team)? Milwaukee if they lose out on Elyiasova? Atlanta? Maybe even Toronto to join Lowry and teach young Valanciunas?
No trading Scola to Toronto so they get better and undermine the value of our pick please

We need to trade him to an Eastern conference team, thereby making the field harder for the Raptors to gain ground.
 
Rudyc281 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #12
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In morey we trust
 
rocketman84 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:17 AM   #13
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Good read. Makes me feel better about the direction. Thanks for the post!

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Dreamshake1 is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:37 AM   #14
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Two words, damage control

He obviously feels fan base growing impatient. Gives us b.s. explanation on why we havent made any progress. Hey Daryl, Yao retired two years ago. We should have started this process then. What have you been doing since? Also Daryl, what's the time frame in resolving this? If you havent noticed nobody wants to play for you, why not address this?
 
DaGreatest is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:40 AM   #15
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just play the rooks no matter what the issues or vendettas versus a player are.. in the meanwhile continue to look for your potential superstar til the deadline, then look to the draft and FA, its not rocket science (no pun)
you play all your players because any one of them has a chance to develop into something really good

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Carl Herrera is online now Old 07-08-2012, 01:40 AM   #16
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I wonder if part of Morey's position is that "we are perfectly happy to run with our young guys if Orlando wants too much for Dwight and we won't have enough to build around him (in term of talent, draft picks and cap space)."

Dwight is clearly a foundation piece, but you can't take back too many bad deals for him and give up too much so you end up with no way of adding to him and convinvcing him to stay.

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iconoclastic is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:41 AM   #17
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The problem, though, is that there may be better methods to getting that foundational star. Tanking for a high draft pick, for example.
 
Carl Herrera is online now Old 07-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamshake1 View Post
Two words, damage control

He obviously feels fan base growing impatient. Gives us b.s. explanation on why we havent made any progress. Hey Daryl, Yao retired two years ago. We should have started this process then. What have you been doing since? Also Daryl, what's the time frame in resolving this? If you havent noticed nobody wants to play for you, why not address this?
Yao retired officially after the 2011 season. The first thing Morey did after that was to go after the Gasol/Nene combo. Then, he went after the Dwight Howard trade at the deadline. He did not play his hand conservatively.

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Trackball is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iconoclastic View Post
The problem, though, is that there may be better methods to getting that foundational star. Tanking for a high draft pick, for example.
Because the draft has always proven reliable in producing reliable, consistent players.

Isn't that right, Mr. Oden?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephnicks View Post
the rockets have gone 280-167 since moreys been GM.. he assembled the best rockets team weve had in years when he stole artest from the kings, he stole scola from the spurs.. and has maintained a roster that plays above .500 without a superstar let alone an all-star, yet this guy cant catch a break because he cant convince some spoiled diva superstars to play in houston. i think you guys need to relax.
 
Scolalist is offline Old 07-08-2012, 01:54 AM   #20
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Morey does more harm opening up about these things rather than keeping things hush hush it's like he continually gives away the blue prints for team building 101

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